Aguirre allowed Bilibid inmates get back lavish living at AFP jail – De Lima
MANILA — Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has granted several high-profile inmates from the New Bilibid Prisons luxury privileges while detained at the military custodial center in Camp Crame in exchange for testifying against her, Sen. Leila de Lima bared Wednesday.
In a press conference, De Lima cited “indisputable” information that the inmates, among those who had testified about her alleged drug links at the House of Representatives 2016, have been able to regain access to the Internet, use their mobiles phones and have smart television sets as well airconditioning in their jail cells.
She could not say yet how many inmates have been getting such privileges but said she was sure that one of them was Herbert Colanggo, a robbery convict once busted for living in a luxury villa inside the New Bilibid Prisons.
“He (Aguirre) will deny this, but I have proof,” De Lima said, adding that the public must know about the legal breach that Aguirre was purportedly allowing.
She said she would forward her information before the Commission on Appointments, where Aguirre has been facing confirmation hearings. De Lima said Aguirre, among those chiefly accusing her of drug involvement, might be held liable for administrative offenses for granting such privileges to the convicts.
De Lima feared that access to mobile phone and internet service would allow the convicts to engage anew in the drug trade, the very crime they had been busted for while jailed at the national penitentiary.
A confidential document obtained by the Philippine Daily Inquirer showed that a “confidential investigation” of the Armed Forces of the Philippines found that the “high-profile inmates continue to enjoy lavish lifestyles.”
The Dec. 9 document of the Bureau of Corrections showed that the inmates were given such privileges through “the express instruction of [Sec.] Vitaliano Aguirre II.”
De Lima made the disclosure just as she aired concern that Aguirre was railroading drug charges filed against her before his office, with the complaint likely to be filed before a Regional Trial Court. She said her arrest might be imminent.
She said any accusations against a public official should be investigated by the Office of the Ombudsman.
De Lima maintains she has nothing to do with illegal drugs. SFM
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