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HOUSE PROBE MAINLY ON DRUG TRADE IN NBP, NOT SOLELY ABOUT DE LIMA' SAYS JUSTICE PANEL CHAIR UMALI
[RELATED:
5 more convicts testify vs De Lima]
(BUT DOJ WITNESSES DIDN’T GIVE DRUG MONEY DIRECTLY TO DE LIMA)


SEPTEMBER 20 -The House of Representatives’ Committee on Justice chair assured that Sen. Leila de Lima would not be the sole subject of the House panel hearing. THIS December 30, 2014 photo posted when Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered the relief of four more officials of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa after another inspection yielded more contraband at the national penitentiary. File photo
The House of Representatives’ Committee on Justice chair on Tuesday insisted that the House panel’s hearing is not about Sen. Leila de Lima but will only tackle the proliferation of drugs and narcotics syndicates inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City. “Again, this is not about Sen. Leila De Lima, who is my sister in her sorority Lambda Rho Sigma. And this is really about the issue on the proliferation of drug syndicates in the NBP and I would just like to disabuse the mind of my sis that this is a sham hearing and this is a kangaroo committee that is being conducted here,” House Committee on Justice chair Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said in his opening statement. READ MORE...RELATED,

ALSO: HOUSE PANEL STARTS DRUG INQUIRY - Convicted felons pin down De Lima[RELATED: Police kept out of De Lima-led raid, says high PNP official]


SEPTEMBER 21 -CONVICTED FELONS AT HOUSE Witnesses Rodolfo Magleo, Herbert Colanggo, Noel Martinez and Jaime Pacho appear before the House of Representatives committee on justice, which is hearing alleged illegal drug activities implicating Sen. Leila de Lima, who was then justice secretary, at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City. RICHARD A. REYES
HIGH-PROFILE prisoners testifying at the opening of a House of Representatives hearing on Tuesday painted a portrait of Sen. Leila de Lima as a corrupt justice secretary who allowed convicted gang leaders and drug lords to turn the national penitentiary into a “Little Las Vegas” and the center of a multibillion-peso national illegal drug operation. Concerts featuring top Philippine entertainers were held in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). Beer flowed. High-prized call girls were brought in. Cells were turned into virtual hotel rooms. All these happened in the maximum security unit, the preferred quarters of convicts. In return, De Lima allegedly received millions in campaign money for her senatorial bid in the May elections. The wild nights and shenanigans of convicts were brought out for the first time in the latest chapter of the game of tit-for-tat between the embattled senator and President Duterte’s allies as the House justice committee heard testimonies of maximum security inmates and others on the proliferation of drugs at the NBP during De Lima’s term as head of the Department of Justice (DOJ) under then President Benigno Aquino III. READ MORE...RELATED, Police kept out of De Lima-led raid, says high PNP official...

ALSO:
De Lima hits House over privacy violation
[RELATED: De Lima feels the pinch, is looking for new home]


SEPTEMBER 21 -Says she's being harassed after her mobile no., address were publicly disclosed
Senator Leila de Lima cried foul after the House of Representatives allowed her personal cellphone number and home address to be disclosed to the public. In a statement, De Lima expressed her "utter dismay" at what the "lack of sheer humanity" displayed at Tuesday's House inquiry. "I have no adequate words to express my utter dismay about the lack of foresight and/or utter lack of sheer humanity displayed today during what I can only describe as a blatant exercise in harassment and persecution that is the so-called House of Representatives 'inquiry'. I condemn and vehemently protest the sheer indecency and foulness of allowing my cellphone number and home address to be publicly disclosed," she said. According to De Lima, she has been bombarded with text messages and phone calls from unknown people. "As of 8:00PM tonight, I have been bombarded by text messages, numbering almost 2000, and phone calls from unknown persons, threatening me, harassing me, calling me the vilest of names," she added. READ MORE...RELATED, De Lima feels the pinch, is looking for new house...

ALSO: DOF has enough evidence vs Leila – Ping

[RELATED: ‘Leila nixed drug plan’: Witnesses: Cronus shelved in favor of an NBP inmate]


SEPTEMBER 21 -Sen. Panfilo Lacson said he was able to go over the affidavits of the witnesses the DOJ presented yesterday at the House of Representatives, particularly those on Sen. Leila de Lima. PCOO/Robert Viñas, File
MANILA, Philippines – There is enough evidence for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file a case against Sen. Leila de Lima for possible violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said yesterday. Lacson said he was able to go over the affidavits of the witnesses the DOJ presented yesterday at the House of Representatives, particularly those on De Lima. “I took special notice of the narrations of (National Bureau of Investigation) agent Jovencio Ablen Jr. and his superior while detailed at the NBP (New Bilibid Prison), deputy director Rafael Ragos, not to mention those of Colangco, Magleo and the other high-profile inmates,” Lacson said, referring to convicts Herbert Colangco and Rodolfo Magleo. “My own assessment of the evidentiary value of those affidavits, and I could fairly conclude, based on some verified and verifiable facts, that those allegations are credible enough to get past the probable cause requirement to file a criminal information in any court of law,” he added. READ MORE...RELATED, ‘Leila nixed drug plan’: Witnesses: Cronus shelved in favor of an NBP inmate...

ALSO NBP: ‘Little Las Vegas, drug trade center’; Leila tagged in NBP payoffs [RELATED: ‘Inmates raised P16 M for De Lima campaign’]


SEPTEMBER 21 -Witnesses (from left) retired police officer and convicted kidnapper Rodolfo Magleo, National Bureau of Investigation agent Jovencio Ablen Jr. and former Bureau of Corrections acting director Rafael Ragos listen to congressmen yesterday. BOY SANTOS
There were concerts featuring celebrity entertainers, beer flowed, “models” were available and business – the drug business – was conducted as money changed hands freely. That was the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa, the “center of drug operations” in the Philippines, with its maximum-security compound for notorious convicts known as “Little Las Vegas” during Sen. Leila de Lima’s time as justice secretary, two inmate-witnesses at a House hearing disclosed yesterday. “It was the drug trade center of the Philippines during the time of then secretary De Lima, because drug trading in the entire Philippines was done in the maximum security compound,” retired police major and kidnap convict Rodolfo Magleo said in Filipino when he testified before the House committee on justice yesterday. The committee, chaired by Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, was hearing allegations of the proliferation of illegal drugs at the NBP during De Lima’s watch. The NBP is under the Department of Justice (DOJ). Speaking from Davao City, President Duterte said he was right all along about the proliferation of illegal drugs at the NBP during De Lima’s time as DOJ chief. “During the term of de Lima, the maximum security compound was called the Little Las Vegas. It was called Little Las Vegas because many concerts were held inside,” Magleo said. READ MORE...RELATED, ‘Inmates raised P16 M for De Lima campaign’...

ALSO: Govt torturing inmates to fabricate testimonies, says De Lima
(The senator however remained defiant even after the Senate stripped her of chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Justice. "It would take more than a committee chairmanship, a House inquiry intended to pillory and crucify me, an ethics committee complaint based on hearsay, a baseless election protest everyday or almost every day tirades from the secretary of justice and even the solicitor general and vicious personal attacks from the President to take me down," she said.
"Wag na po ninyong ituloy mahal na pangulo dahil mapapahiya lamang po kayo," she added.)
[RELATED: ‘Drug convicts not forced to testify vs Leila’]


SEPTEMBER 20 -President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila De Lima. File/Composite
A defiant Senator Leila De Lima on Tuesday accused the Duterte administration of using psychological torture on inmates to force them to fabricate false testimonies against her. De Lima said she received "credible" reports that inmates and gang leaders were being taken by personnel of the Special Action Force (SAF) for overnight interrogations. "[This] can also be a euphemism for psychological torture. I am referring to the overnight interrogations all in an effort to fabricate testimony that I have received bribes from drug lords," De Lima said during a privilege speech at the Senate on Tuesday. Several inmates testified at a House probe on Tuesday that De Lima received millions in drug payoffs when she was still head of the justice department. But the former justice secretary said these prisoners are just being forced into implicating her in the illegal drugs trade. "The New Bilibid Prison under this administration is now a tropical gulag...prisoners are being selected and isolated just to be intimidated into implicating me and to fit the President's narrative that I am a drug coddler aside from being the most evil woman in the planet," she said, adding that the Commission on Human Rights should look into the reports.READ MORE...RELATED,
‘Drug convicts not forced to testify vs Leila’...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

House justice committee chair: Probe not about De Lima


The House of Representatives’ Committee on Justice chair assured that Sen. Leila de Lima would not be the sole subject of the House panel hearing. THIS December 30, 2014 photo posted when Justice Secretary Leila de Lima ordered the relief of four more officials of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa after another inspection yielded more contraband at the national penitentiary. File photo

MANILA, SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 (PHILSTAR) By Rosette Adel (philstar.com) | Updated September 20, 2016 - 12:34pm 14 1023 googleplus0 0

MANILA, Philippines — The House of Representatives’ Committee on Justice chair on Tuesday insisted that the House panel’s hearing is not about Sen. Leila de Lima but will only tackle the proliferation of drugs and narcotics syndicates inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.

“Again, this is not about Sen. Leila De Lima, who is my sister in her sorority Lambda Rho Sigma. And this is really about the issue on the proliferation of drug syndicates in the NBP and I would just like to disabuse the mind of my sis that this is a sham hearing and this is a kangaroo committee that is being conducted here,” House Committee on Justice chair Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali said in his opening statement.

READ MORE...

On Sunday, De Lima said she would not attend the House probe saying the inquiry is a “sham” and “with no objective other than to demolish or destroy her, upon orders of the president.” De Lima was earlier accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of accepting bribes from the inmates inside the NBP.

WATCH: LIVE: House probe into Bilibid prison drug trade


INQUIRER FILE PHOTO. Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, who chairs the House of Representatives justice committee.

Umali, however, said the House panel seeks to establish facts that would lead them to perform their mandate. Based on their findings, the solon said the committee would give recommendations that would result in the formation of remedial or amendatory legislation as well as a directive to the appropriate agency to issue the necessary administrative regulations as part of their oversight functions in Congress.

“I do recall having been vice chair of the Committee on Justice in the last two Congresses and that we did conduct some investigation. But the trouble is while we did some investigation, the problem persisted and probably was even aggravated so these are things now that we want to put a closure on by this committee,” Umali said.

“And we want to do it as holistically as possible covering not only the correctional aspect of the criminal justice system but the three other pillars, so that the fifth pillar — and that is the community, will regain trust and confidence in the criminal justice system,” he added.

Umali then called on the members of the House of Representative to conduct the investigation in an orderly fashion.

“I enjoin all members to observe the proper decorum as honorable gentlemen as we are. We avoid going to the issues on personality but stick to the issues at hand,” Umali stressed.

The House panel chair said the witnesses’ testimonies will help the committee determine the cause of the problem of the proliferation of drugs and drug syndicates in the national penitentiary. He said the witnesses will also identify the responsible government officials, before and even today, culpable through direct participation or gross inexcusable negligence in allowing these syndicates to proliferate while inside the maximum security compound.

In his opening statement, Umali also condemned the illegal activities happening inside the NBP, saying it makes a “complete mockery of our criminal justice system.” He stressed the convicted persons are supposed to serve their sentence as punishments and that is supposed to be the closure for the victims and their families, however, he said that is not the case.

“Unfortunately, the fact that these convicted felons are still able to continue with their illegal activities while incarcerated makes a complete mockery of our criminal justice system. It renders the justice sought by the victims and their families as mere illusions for how can justice be truly served when the perpetrators themselves are still able to commit crimes with impunity while inside the national penitentiary? This question must be answered in this inquiry and we must able get to the bottom of this issue in order to make sure we put finish to this travesty of justice,” Umali concluded.

RELATED: ‘Leila got millions from NBP drug lords’

| Rody: De Lima at heart of Bilibid drug matrix

VIDEO: Congress Hearing Day1 unang testigo Rodolfo Tamayo unang banat vs De lima

 
https://youtu.be/48GJaZO7YwM
Congress Hearing Day1 unang testigo Rodolfo Tamayo unang banat vs De lima President Duterte Era President Duterte Era Subscribe8,084 Add to Share More 16,123 views 114 4 Published on Sep 20, 2016 Video Credits to PTV4 September 20 2016 Day 1 Presentation of 1st witness Rodolfo Magleo Tamayo vs De lima The House of Representatives will probe into the alleged drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison and the involment of Senator De lima during his tenure.

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

5 more convicts testify vs De Lima
[BUT DOJ WITNESSES DIDN’T GIVE DRUG MONEY DIRECTLY TO DE LIMA]
Philippine Daily Inquirer  By: DJ Yap, September 22nd, 2016 12:52 AM


HOUSE INQUIRY High-profile inmates Jojo Baligad, Jaime Patcho and Noel Martinez get pointers from whistle-blower Sandra Cam before the start of the House of Representatives’ hearing on illegal drugs at New Bilibid Prison . RICHARD A. REYES

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II presented five more convicts at the House of Representatives on Wednesday in his bid to tighten the noose on President Duterte’s No. 1 critic, Sen. Leila de Lima, who was linked to the illicit drug trade at New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her term as justice secretary.

For the second day in a row, NBP inmates faced the House justice committee to accuse De Lima of complicity in clandestine multibillion-peso drug operations at the national penitentiary and of receiving millions of pesos in drug money to bankroll her senatorial campaign in May.

But there appeared to be little new information during the 10-hour hearing besides details apparently corroborating the testimonies of the previous witnesses against De Lima, who has clashed with Mr. Duterte and his allies over alleged extrajudicial killings in the administration’s war on illegal drugs. No date was set for the next hearing.

The new witnesses did not claim they directly gave De Lima money but said they either deposited cash or asked their referrals to make deposits to bank accounts controlled by her trusted lieutenants, including Jaybee Sebastian, a gang leader who emerged as the “king of drug lords” after centralizing drug operations at NBP in 2014.

READ MORE...

Murder convict Jojo Baligad, an “adviser” of Batang City Jail, said he gave payments from the drug operations amounting to P3.8 million from January 2013 to September 2014.

“Of this amount, I know P1.5 million was directly given to Secretary De Lima, as this was directly admitted to me by Herbert Colanggo,” one of Aguirre’s witnesses, Baligad said.

Colanggo, a convicted bank robber, previously testified that he gave De Lima P60 million in total, including regular monthly payoffs of P3 million, plus P1 million for each of the lavish concerts he organized until he was transferred to the National Bureau of Investigation as part of the so-called Bilibid 19.

Colanggo’s surname was previously mistakenly spelled as “Colangco.” He told Tuesday’s hearing he was not of Chinese descent as many people assumed, though he admitted letting the misimpression go uncorrected.

Bilibid 19 refers to the group of high-profile inmates who were discovered during a De Lima-led raid to be living lavish lifestyles in NBP, and were thus transferred to the custody of the NBI in December 2014.

Most of Aguirre’s witnesses, including Baligad and Colanggo, were part of this group that had an ax to grind against Sebastian, who allegedly monopolized the drug operations for eight months after the Bilibid 19 were transferred.

Sebastian, according to Aguirre, has declined to testify on the drug operations at NBP. In the meantime, the House committee has issued a subpoena compelling him to appear at the hearing.

No rehearsals

Aguirre took exception to comments that his witnesses seemed “rehearsed.”

Citing the case of inmate Rodolfo Magleo, his first witness who testified on Tuesday, the Cabinet member said: “I haven’t even talked to him that day, except in the morning for 10 minutes, except when I visited him on Sunday.”

“I don’t rehearse my witnesses, and if I do, I would only ask them to speak the truth,” Aguirre said.

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, counsel of five of Aguirre’s witnesses, also denied De Lima’s accusation that they had been coerced into testifying against her.

“My clients have neither been threatened, cajoled, tortured nor intimidated, nor have they been subjected to torture, either physical or psychological,” he said in a statement.

Aguirre earlier told the panel he planned to file a criminal complaint against De Lima, though the investigation was still in the preliminary stage.

On Monday, De Lima was stripped of her chairmanship of the Senate justice and human rights committee after the panel heard the testimony of confessed hit man Edgar Matobato, who implicated the President in summary killings by a notorious death squad in his hometown Davao City.

BuCor payoffs

At Wednesday’s hearing, Baligad said P1.7 million was given to then Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Franklin Bucayu and his aide, who identified himself only as “Colonel Elie,” while P600,000 went to former BuCor officer in charge Rafael Ragos, another witness presented by Aguirre.

Baligad narrated the series of events that led to him making payments to people allegedly connected to De Lima.

In May 2013, when Ragos was replaced by Bucayu at BuCor, Colonel Elie called him to his office where he met with “about six other Chinese and high-profile inmates like Amin Boratong, Vicente Sy and Ben Marcelo.”

“I recognized some of them but was not sure about the others,” he said.

“In mid-2014, Herbert Colanggo asked me three times for P50,000 in different occasions, saying it was for Secretary De Lima,” Baligad said.

There were also occasions when Colonel Elie asked him for P50,000 or P100,000 “for the boys,” the witness said.

Another witness, Noel Martinez, a commander of the Genuine Ilocano Group, one of the biggest gangs in the maximum security compound, said the drug trade flourished under Sebastian’s leadership until November 2014.

Martinez said Sebastian introduced him to De Lima. “I saw her three to four times. There was a time they went around the maximum security compound then he would drop by Jaybee Sebastian’s hut. She knows he was the highest among the commanders,” he said.

Accomplishment

Martinez said Sebastian asked him for help to sell “shabu” (methamphetamine hydrochloride), but to protect himself and his family, he negotiated that he only make referrals of people who could do it for him, instead of entering the transactions himself.

“All their transactions were done between themselves but I was privy to the details because they [referrals] were texting them to me. This was my basis to make sure my referrals were really working,” Martinez said.

“I wasn’t remitting the money, I was only monitoring the people I referred to JB making remittances,” he said.

Martinez said he communicated with his referrals by cell phone, and they sent him bank receipts. “Jaybee would reply ‘OK, ’pre (buddy).’”

He said the people he referred ended up selling as much as 200 kilos of shabu for Sebastian from 2013 to 2014.

In December 2014, Martinez was one of the 19 high-profile detainees forcibly removed from NBP during a De Lima-led raid and taken to the NBI.

“It’s noticeable that Jaybee was not in this group. Secretary De Lima was boasting of this raid as one of her accomplishments in dismantling the drug operation in Bilibid,” he said.

Extortion

Also presented on Wednesday were Froilan “Poypoy” Trestiza and Hans Anton Tan.

Tan claimed that a certain Jose Adrian Dera, described as a “nephew and close-in aide” of De Lima, helped in the release of the niece of drug lord Peter Co, and her husband, who were supposedly arrested in a buy-bust operation on March 25, 2016.

Co, through Tan, gave Dera P1 million at a casino hotel in Manila for the release of his relatives. Tan claimed he also learned that Co gave Dera “a total of P5 million throughout the entire time until the senatorial elections.”

Tan also claimed having helped Dera “acquire” 5 kilograms of shabu “during the entire campaign period.”

Trestiza said Danilo Martinez, a religious volunteer at NBP, began to ask him amounts from P10,000 to P50,000 soon after he claimed to be an aide of De Lima.

However, Trestiza said Martinez accused him of taking part in a grenade-throwing incident at NBP. Trestiza said he asked for help from an NBI agent named John Herra, who eventually told him to talk to one Jun Ablen who was “close” to Ragos.

Ablen and Ragos were also among the DOJ’s witnesses. Through Ablen, Ragos supposedly extorted P200,000 from Trestiza in exchange for his not being transferred to a different prison facility.

Ragos, according to Trestiza, continued to demand P100,000 weekly from him. When he could not pay, Trestiza said he, his brother Mark Anthony, and another inmate, were transferred to the San Ramon Prison and Penal Farm in Zamboanga City. With reports from Nikko Dizon and Vince F. Nonato


INQUIRER

HOUSE PANEL STARTS OWN DRUG INQUIRY - Cons pin down De Lima Philippine Daily Inquirer By: DJ Yap, September 21st, 2016 01:18 AM


CONVICTED FELONS AT HOUSE Witnesses Rodolfo Magleo, Herbert Colanggo, Noel Martinez and Jaime Pacho appear before the House of Representatives committee on justice, which is hearing alleged illegal drug activities implicating Sen. Leila de Lima, who was then justice secretary, at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City. RICHARD A. REYES

HIGH-PROFILE prisoners testifying at the opening of a House of Representatives hearing on Tuesday painted a portrait of Sen. Leila de Lima as a corrupt justice secretary who allowed convicted gang leaders and drug lords to turn the national penitentiary into a “Little Las Vegas” and the center of a multibillion-peso national illegal drug operation.

Concerts featuring top Philippine entertainers were held in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). Beer flowed. High-prized call girls were brought in. Cells were turned into virtual hotel rooms. All these happened in the maximum security unit, the preferred quarters of convicts.

In return, De Lima allegedly received millions in campaign money for her senatorial bid in the May elections.

The wild nights and shenanigans of convicts were brought out for the first time in the latest chapter of the game of tit-for-tat between the embattled senator and President Duterte’s allies as the House justice committee heard testimonies of maximum security inmates and others on the proliferation of drugs at the NBP during De Lima’s term as head of the Department of Justice (DOJ) under then President Benigno Aquino III.

READ MORE...

It was the latest administration-backed salvo against De Lima, a Liberal Party member whose woes began since she emerged as the President’s fiercest critic, blasting alleged extrajudicial killings in his relentless war on illegal drugs that has claimed more than 3,000 lives and drew condemnation from the United States, United Nations and international human rights advocates.

In a privilege speech in the Senate as the House hearing was unfolding, De Lima denied the accusations. “As the saying goes, everything has been thrown at me except the kitchen sink. I am still waiting for the kitchen sink,” she said. (See story on front page).

‘Not about De Lima’

The chair of the House panel, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, insisted that the committee’s inquiry on illicit drug activities at the national penitentiary was “not about De Lima” at all.

Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the Palace did not have a hand in the event. “I’d like to say the House is also independent,” he said.

But the witnesses, under the direction of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II who was given free rein by the House panel to question them, seemed bent on pinning down the senator on allegations she was a beneficiary of drug money.

Aguirre said a large chunk of all illegal drug transactions emanated from the NBP before it was reduced by 90 percent when the Special Action Force was called in to police the compound.

“The drug lords earned billions, not only millions there,” he said, adding that the DOJ could only tell the full extent once it made headway with its efforts to open the bank records of certain personalities under the Anti-Money Laundering Act.

Upon the prodding of Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, the House panel agreed to grant the witnesses immunity from any legal ramifications their testimonies might entail.

King’s connection

Within an hour, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez authorized immunity to convicted kidnapper and former Philippine National Police Insp. Rodolfo Magleo, high-profile inmates Jaime Pacho, Herbert Colanggo and Noel Martinez, and two of De Lima’s former subordinates in the National Bureau of Investigation, Rafael Ragos and Jovencio Ablen Jr.

In his testimony, Magleo pointed to the senator’s alleged link to Jaybee Sebastian, who became “king of the drug lords” after he orchestrated the transfer of his competitors into the custody of the NBI for eight months beginning in December 2014 after De Lima had led a raid in the NBP.

That was the time the so-called “Bilibid 19” group of high-profile inmates were discovered to be living lavish lifestyles in the NBP, and were thus transferred to the custody of the NBI.

“[Sebastian] became successful in his plan to centralize drug operations inside the maximum security compound. He maximized the trading and he maximized his shenanigans,” Magleo said, adding that “he would take shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) from his Chinese suppliers and cheat them.”

Sebastian allegedly helped bankroll De Lima’s senatorial campaign by asking those under his fold to deliver monthly payoffs, according to the witness.

Under questioning by Aguirre, Magleo accused the senator of complicity in the lax security at the NBP that allowed the drug lords to operate freely like Mafia dons in exchange for monthly contributions to De Lima and Bureau of Corrections officials amounting to millions of pesos.

Colanggo testified that he gave De Lima a total of P60 million, including the regular monthly payoffs of P3 million, plus the P1 million “per concert” until he was transferred to the NBI.

He said he had lived a life in luxury while incarcerated. “My room looked like it would belong at Shangri-La, my comfort room at a five-star hotel.”

Colanggo said he gave the payoffs to De Lima’s security aide and “bagman,” Jonel Sanchez. He said that Sanchez had allowed him to talk on the phone to De Lima once to check if she was getting the payola, quoting her as telling him, “OK, OK. Thank you.”

He said he recognized the voice by watching her on TV. He gave De Lima’s number, which tallied with that in Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia’s contact list.

Relations soured when Colanggo said he failed to meet Sanchez’s demand that he secure 50 kilos of shabu, fearing he would get in the way of the other drug lords and get killed.

‘Little Las Vegas’

In his sworn affidavit, Ragos, a former De Lima subordinate in the NBI, accused the senator of accepting P5 million in drug money with the code name “limang manok (five chickens)” in her Parañaque home in 2012.

Magleo said the NBP was also known as the “drug trade center of the Philippines” especially as drug lords from China, Taiwan, Malaysia and Hong Kong were allowed to continue their operations virtually unabated.

He said big-time Filipino players would approach Chinese drug lords for orders of shabu, or “crystal meth.”

“They have agents outside covering Luzon, Visayas, Mindanao, and they contact each other through cell phones, and then their agents meet outside. The orders are made in Bilibid but the transactions are outside,” Magleo said.

“Almost 80 percent had cell phones,” he said.

“During the tenure of then Secretary De Lima, the maximum security compound was known as ‘Little Las Vegas’ and at the same time the ‘Wild West,’” he said.

Magleo recalled one instance when Colanggo had truckloads of beer delivered for a concert, a claim the inmate confirmed when his turn to testify came. “None of the guards blocked them,” he said.

There were many concerts, he added. “These were not ordinary concerts. There would be celebrities like Freddie Aguilar, Sharon Cuneta, the Mocha girls, Ethel Booba and several comediennes,” he said.

Special conduit

Under heavy guard by the Special Action Force, the inmates appeared in collared shirts, blending in well with the lawmakers, some of whom were caught in TV cameras crunching potato chips or fiddling with their cell phones.

Magleo said he and three other inmate leaders first met De Lima and her former driver and purported lover, Ronnie Dayan, in mid-2011.

He said he connected with Dayan, who also hailed from Pangasinan. He said Dayan told him to help maintain peace and order in the maximum security compound, and later exchanged phone numbers with him.

“After that, only Ronnie Dayan and I communicated by cell phone,” Magleo said.

Two weeks after that first meeting, “we always got texts saying ‘we need your support,’ which was forwarded to all of us. ‘We need your help for expenses in DOJ,’” he said.

Something abnormal

Magleo said he and a partner were given a quota of delivering P50,000 per week to Dayan, but he could only produce P3,000 to P5,000, not even reaching 10,000. “We were then removed from our position as inmate leaders,” Magleo said.

Asked what he thought of De Lima and Dayan’s relationship, Magleo said: “I didn’t see anything, but I could read between the lines. I could sense something in the air.”

Magleo insinuated that De Lima’s relationship with Sebastian was also out of the ordinary.

“He could invite De Lima to his ‘kubol’ (hut). For me, it’s something abnormal, and I could sense something. De Lima would enter Sebastian’s hut in the afternoon, and there would only be the two of them for two to three hours. The bodyguards were left outside,” he said.

The hearing adjourned after nearly 11 hours. It will resume today at 9:30 a.m. With reports from Vince F. Nonato and Leila B. Salaverria

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Police kept out of De Lima-led Prison raid, says high PNP official Philippine Daily Inquirer By: Nikko Dizon, September 22nd, 2016 01:09 AM


LEFT OUT Police Director BenjaminMagalong complains that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group was left out of the Bilibid raid, but says the operation was successful. ALEXIS CORPUS

A Philippine National Police official on Wednesday told a congressional inquiry that the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) developed a plan to bust the illegal drug trade in New Bilibid Prison (NBP), but was left out in the cold when the Department of Justice (DOJ), then headed by Secretary Leila de Lima, carried it out.

Director Benjamin Magalong, deputy PNP chief for operations and former CIDG head, told the House hearing on the proliferation of drugs in NBP that he and his men developed “Oplan: Cronus” based on intelligence information he had received from his assets at the national penitentiary.

Magalong said De Lima, now a senator, was aware of Cronus but he was surprised when the DOJ and the National Bureau of Investigation suddenly raided NBP on Dec. 15, 2014, without the CIDG and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA).

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Magalong’s testimony “bolsters” the case he wanted to file against De Lima, who was ousted as chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights on Monday for trying to establish a link between the vigilante killings in Davao City when President Duterte was still its mayor and the extrajudicial killings in Mr. Duterte’s brutal war on drugs.

But Cebu City Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa raised concern that the DOJ, in its effort to help President Duterte in his war against drugs, might also be helping him in his own “war against De Lima.”

“I believe that the present DOJ is very sincere in its effort to help the President in the war against drugs. But we are afraid that the initial efforts right now, (with) the information you are sharing with this committee, I am afraid that you are also helping the President in his war against De Lima,” Abellanosa said.

He said all the affidavits of the NBP inmates presented by the DOJ during the committee investigation linked De Lima one way or another to the drug trade in the national penitentiary.

“This committee might be missing out on the chance to truly find out how the drug trade works and thrives inside the national penitentiary because of the focus on De Lima,” he said.

He pointed out that convicted kidnapper Rodolfo Magleo claimed in his affidavit that the maximum security compound at NBP had been turned into the “drug trade center of the Philippines” because its operations covered Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao and that it was run by foreign and local drug lords serving sentences at the national penitentiary.

One drug lord, Peter Co, made a profit of P1 billion in 2012, Magleo said in his affidavit.

But Abellanosa said he noticed that instead of expounding on this detail, Magleo suddenly deviated to say how he met De Lima and her driver, Ronnie Dayan, in 2011.

Broader perspective

Abellanosa said the committee should “bring in witnesses outside the initiative of the DOJ so that we can have a broader perspective of what really happened at [Bilibid]” in relation to the drug trade.

If De Lima was the “cause of it all,” Abellanosa asked Aguirre whether the drug trade in NBP had been eradicated now that she was out and he had taken over.

“Or have we reached the point that we are constricted in the De Lima perspective? I am apprehensive that we will miss the point (of this investigation),” Abellanosa said.

Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, the justice committee chair, said at the start of the hearing that the investigation was not about De Lima but the proliferation of drugs at Bilibid.

‘Natural course’ of probe

Defending himself, Aguirre said the DOJ was not “pointing at any personality” in the investigation and that if the affidavits eventually named De Lima, it was because it was the natural course of the investigation.

Aguirre said he did not have a hand in the testimony of the witnesses, adding he saw and heard two of them only on Wednesday. He did not name who these witnesses were.

But before Abellanosa questioned him, Aguirre was confident that Magalong’s testimony would help him build an airtight case against De Lima.

“With the testimony of [Director] Magalong, the strength of our case was more than doubled. We will request the CIDG, specifically Magalong, and the specific officer of the PDEA who will prove the [Bureau of Corrections] only asked for canines for affidavits,” Aguirre said.

He stressed that Magalong’s testimony would show that the December 2014 raid on Bilibid led by De Lima was “merely a show on the part of the DOJ.”

“As of this point, we could begin the prosecution of those involved,” Aguirre said.

Raid a ‘success’

Magalong said that while he felt bad that the CIDG was shut out of the December raid, he considered it a “success” because contraband and weapons were found and confiscated, and the convicts involved in the drug trade were identified.

But Magalong said one inmate whom the CIDG wanted to isolate was not included in the so-called Bilibid 19—the drug convicts who were transferred temporarily to the NBI.

He did not name the convict.

Magalong said it was then BuCor chief Franklin Bucayo and then Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission head Reginald Villasanta who knew about the December 2014 raid.

He added that earlier during the planning and meetings for the raid, he volunteered to be the ground commander because no one wanted to take on the role.


ABS-CBN

De Lima hits House over privacy violation ABS-CBN News Posted at Sep 20 2016 11:03 PM


Says she's being harassed after her mobile no., address were publicly disclosed

MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima cried foul after the House of Representatives allowed her personal cellphone number and home address to be disclosed to the public.

In a statement, De Lima expressed her "utter dismay" at what the "lack of sheer humanity" displayed at Tuesday's House inquiry.

"I have no adequate words to express my utter dismay about the lack of foresight and/or utter lack of sheer humanity displayed today during what I can only describe as a blatant exercise in harassment and persecution that is the so-called House of Representatives 'inquiry'. I condemn and vehemently protest the sheer indecency and foulness of allowing my cellphone number and home address to be publicly disclosed," she said.

According to De Lima, she has been bombarded with text messages and phone calls from unknown people.

"As of 8:00PM tonight, I have been bombarded by text messages, numbering almost 2000, and phone calls from unknown persons, threatening me, harassing me, calling me the vilest of names," she added.

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"They have basically destroyed my right to privacy and security in my communications and in my abode. I am now literally a persecuted person displaced from my home. Worse, they have turned people into weapons of destruction," De Lima added.

For De Lima, it is a shame to compare the Philippines with Singapore, with all the things that are happening in the country.

"This is the country that we live in today. We shame ourselves before our countrymen and the world that we dare compare ourselves to Singapore in terms of making people feel safe," she said.

De Lima added that her detractors have turned her into an example of what will happen to those who dare criticize the government.

"What the people have to realize is that this is not just an offense against me, but against everyone. They are making me into an example of what will happen to those who dare criticize and call out the abuses of those in power. Who would dare stand up for others now? The real victim here is the people, the oppressed," she said.

De Lima is at the center of a House inquiry on the alleged proliferation of the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her term as justice secretary.

Several inmates testified at a House probe that De Lima received millions in drug payoffs when she was still head of the justice department, an allegation she has repeatedly denied.

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RELATED FROM MALAYA

De Lima feels the pinch, is looking for new house By JP LOPEZ September 22, 2016


De lima receives 2k messages after phone number aired: "threatening me, harassing me, calling me the vilest of names"

SEN. Leila de Lima is now feeling the pinch of the House investigation on the illegal drug trade inside the National Bilibid Prison.

Less than 24 hours after her cellular phone number and address were exposed in the House inquiry, De Lima didn’t show up at the Senate yesterday, with somebody close to her saying she is looking for a new house where she would feel safe.

“There’s no threat to her life yet but for security reasons, she has to change her address,” said the source, who refused to be identified.

De Lima’s ally, Sen. Bam Aquino, said it was unfortunate that her phone number and address were revealed to the public.

“We’d like to hope that in the halls of Congress and the Senate, mayroon pa ring parliamentary courtesy. Mayroon pa rin pagkiling towards someone’s right to privacy,” he said.

De Lima, who was accused by convicts serving life sentences of accepting drug money, had earlier condemned the intrusion to her privacy when her cell phone number and address were made public during the first day of investigation being conducted at the House of Representatives.

She said she has received thousands of hate messages from unknown persons.

“As of 8 p.m. (Tuesday night), I have been bombarded by text messages, numbering almost 2,000, and phone calls from unknown persons, threatening me, harassing me, calling me the vilest of names,” she said.

“Halos wala nang pumapasok na legitimate texts and calls,” she said.

“I have no adequate words to express my utter dismay about the lack of foresight and/or utter lack of sheer humanity displayed (last Tuesday) during what I can only describe as a blatant exercise in harassment and persecution that is the so-called House of Representatives ‘inquiry,’ De Lima said as she condemned and vehemently protested “the sheer indecency and foulness of allowing my cell phone number and home address to be publicly disclosed.

“They have victimized me over and over again, and just when I thought I could not feel more betrayed, they have once again proven that I have underestimated their audacity and evilness,” she added.

"NOW LITERALLY A PERSECUTED PERSON DISPLACED FROM MY HOME"

The senator accused congressmen of violating her right to privacy and security in “my communications and in my abode,” saying: “I am now literally a persecuted person displaced from my home. Worse, they have turned people into weapons of destruction.

“This is the country that we live in today. We shame ourselves before our countrymen and the world that we dare compare ourselves to Singapore in terms of making people feel safe,” she said.

De Lima warned that what is happening to her will also happen to those who criticize and call out the abuses of those who are in power.

“Who would dare stand up for others now? The real victim here is the people, the oppressed. God save us all,” she said.

The Presidential Security Group (PSG) is looking into the alleged involvement of one of its members in the illegal drug activities at the NBP after he was identified as an alleged bagman of De Lima.

PSG spokesman Lt. Colonel Michael Aquino said the PSG recalled Sgt. Junel Sanchez, a former security aide of De Lima when she was Justice secretary, and confined him to barracks while the investigation is ongoing.

Sanchez, a member of the Philippine Air Force, was temporarily deployed as a security detail of Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea while awaiting reassignment outside the PSG.

Aquino said the PSG ordered the probe after learning that Sanchez was implicated during the congressional inquiry on the illegal drug operations at the national penitentiary. He said a lifestyle check may be included in the probe.

“The command immediately conducted an investigation effective 18 September 2016. To ensure his safety, PSG has Sgt. Sanchez confined to barracks for the investigation. In unison with our people’s clamor for truth and justice, we requested for his full cooperation during the investigation,” he said.

Herbert Colanggo, a convict who testified before the House inquiry last Tuesday, claimed Sanchez delivered drug money to De Lima for her senatorial bid.

Aquino said the PSG will present Sanchez at the House if he is summoned.

“Kapag pinadalhan kami ng sulat requesting for his presence, makikipag-cooperate naman po,” he said. – With Jocelyn Montemayor


PHILSTAR

Enough evidence vs Leila – Ping By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 21, 2016 - 12:00am 0 2 googleplus0 0


Sen. Panfilo Lacson said he was able to go over the affidavits of the witnesses the DOJ presented yesterday at the House of Representatives, particularly those on Sen. Leila de Lima. PCOO/Robert Viñas, File

MANILA, Philippines – There is enough evidence for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to file a case against Sen. Leila de Lima for possible violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002, Sen. Panfilo Lacson said yesterday.

Lacson said he was able to go over the affidavits of the witnesses the DOJ presented yesterday at the House of Representatives, particularly those on De Lima.

“I took special notice of the narrations of (National Bureau of Investigation) agent Jovencio Ablen Jr. and his superior while detailed at the NBP (New Bilibid Prison), deputy director Rafael Ragos, not to mention those of Colangco, Magleo and the other high-profile inmates,” Lacson said, referring to convicts Herbert Colangco and Rodolfo Magleo.

“My own assessment of the evidentiary value of those affidavits, and I could fairly conclude, based on some verified and verifiable facts, that those allegations are credible enough to get past the probable cause requirement to file a criminal information in any court of law,” he added.

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Last Monday, an overwhelming majority of the senators voted to remove De Lima as chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights in light of allegations that she was using the committee for political purposes, specifically to destroy the reputation of President Duterte.

De Lima initiated an inquiry into the alleged extrajudicial and summary killings of suspected drug pushers under the current administration’s war on drugs.

In the third hearing of the committee, De Lima presented a self-confessed killer, Edgar Matobato, who claimed to be a member of the so-called Davao death squad (DDS).

Matobato claimed the DDS took its orders from Duterte when he was still mayor of Davao City, as well as his son, incumbent vice mayor Paolo Duterte.

Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano would later deliver a privilege speech denouncing the actions of De Lima as chair of the committee.

Asked if De Lima could face expulsion as a senator if she is charged by the DOJ, Lacson said that expulsion could only be a consequence of an ethics committee action.

“But, in case she’s indicted for an unbailable offense such as what’s provided for in RA 9165, then she won’t be able to perform her duties as a senator, just like our former colleagues who are facing plunder cases with the Sandiganbayan,” Lacson said, referring to former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., who are detained in Camp Crame.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said the action taken against De Lima was akin to a reprimand on the part of the Senate.

“It’s best that we have an impartial chair, specially in controversial issues,” Sotto said.

He said that the Senate should not be seen as being subservient to the administration just because of its action against De Lima.

“Independence from both subservience and antagonism is why we acted. Independence is not just confined to not being supportive of the President. It could also be antagonistic and adversarial to the President and we do not want both,” Sotto said.

“There will always be two sides of an issue and either side should respect the views, no matter how unreasonable and vicious they may be,” Lacson, for his part, said.

Sen. Sherwin Gatchalian said the neutrality of De Lima, based on the way she had been conducting the hearings, was questionable. He said this was the reason why he voted for the removal of De Lima as committee chair.

He said the hearings should continue but Matobato should no longer be called to testify.


PANELO

Stopping insult Presidential legal adviser Salvador Panelo, for his part, said Senate majority members who removed De Lima as committee chair were merely stopping her from further besmirching the name of the President.

He criticized De Lima for her unfounded and malicious accusations against the President.

He also said the former justice secretary was using the Senate committee on justice and human rights for personal reasons.

“The ouster of Senator De Lima as chair of the committee on justice is a testament to the overwhelming majority members of the Senate’s sense of propriety that it will not countenance a member’s propensity for besmirching the reputation of President Duterte by unfounded and malicious imputations, using the committee as tool to achieve her end,” Panelo said.

Panelo unleashed a mouthful against De Lima for pushing for an inquiry into the extrajudicial killings in Davao City when the President was still mayor, and up until he became president.

Her removal as committee chair, Panelo said, “is a come uppance or a deserved rebuke from her peers in the Senate.”

He stressed Duterte does not interfere in the affairs of an equal branch of the government. “Such intrusion is anathema to his character,” Panelo added.

He also scored De Lima for blaming the President for her ouster.

“Not wanting to blame herself for creating the circumstances that led to her ouster, De Lima points to PRRD as her scapegoat for her present predicament. Getting two thirds negative vote of her own colleagues to remove her from the chair of the committee on justice is eloquent proof of her undoing and reckless abuse of her position as senator,” Panelo said.

The senator should have inhibited herself from chairing the Senate committee on justice and human rights, he added.

Panelo pointed out that De Lima had “previously positioned herself as a political adversary” of the President.

He recalled the rift between Duterte and De Lima started way back, to the time when she was chair of the Commission on Human Rights.

In a bid to illustrate De Lima’s bias against Duterte, Panelo noted her having “embarked on a biased and unsuccessful investigation of extrajudicial killings in Davao City, concluding that the then Davao City mayor Duterte was behind the death squad even before she commenced her probe.”

“Her being the subject of a House inquiry on her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drug activities in the national penitentiary during her watch as secretary of justice should have heightened her sense of delicadeza and removed herself from the justice committee instead of diminishing it and clinging like a leech to the investigating body,” Panelo said. – Christina Mendez

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA STANDARD

‘Leila nixed drug plan’ - Witnesses: Cronus shelved in favor of an NBP inmate posted September 22, 2016 at 12:01 am by Christine F. Herrera and John Paolo Bencito, PNA


ACCUSING FINGER. Convicted kidnapper Froilan Trestiza, commander of the Batang City Jail group inside the New Bilibid Prison, accuses former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos and a ‘consultant’ of Senator Leila de Lima of extorting money from him so he would not be thrown to a faraway prison complex during a hearing at the House of Representatives. In the same hearing, PNP deputy chief for operations Director Benjamin Magalong and high-profile inmate Noel Martinez also testify regarding the proliferation of drug syndicates inside the NBP. Manny Palmero/Ey Acasio

PALACE executives and then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima preempted a police operation to enable a favored drug lord to raise enough money to bankroll De Lima’s senatorial bid, witnesses told a congressional hearing Wednesday.

The deputy chief for operations of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Dir. Benjamin Magalong, said Oplan Cronus, put together by the CIDG and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, was supposed to isolate drug lords operating in the New Bilibid Prison.

The original plan was squashed, with De Lima, Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayo; Chief Supt. Reginald Villasanta, then executive director of the Presidential Anti-Organized Crime Commission; and Chief Supt. Marcelo Garbo Jr. of the National Capital Region Police Office taking over the National Bilibid Prison raid on Dec. 15, 2014,” Magalong told House committee on justice chaired by Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

Villasanta was chief of PAOCC under the office of Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. during the previous administration.

Magalong and PDEA were excluded from the NBP raid that netted the isolation of high value inmates known as Bilibid 19, most of whom were big time drug lords, including foreign nationals who ran drug syndicates inside and outside of NBP.

But Magalong said some drug lords were left behind.

PDEA, CIDG EXCLUDED FROM RAID

We felt bad because it was our mandate to conduct the raid and then we were dropped at the last minute. Didn’t they trust us? Oplan Cronus was supposed to isolate high-value inmates to get rid of the worsening drug trade in the NBP but others were left out,” Magalong said.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II and other inmates said the raid was meant to ease out the competition to allow drug lord Jaybee Sebastian to lord it over the multibillion drug trade in the NBP.

Only drug-sniffing dogs or canines of the PDEA were tapped to participate in the raid,” said PDEA lawyer Roselyn Borja. “We were requested to let our canines join the operations in the early morning of the raid.”

The NBP raid was held around 4 a.m. of Dec. 15, 2014, according to another drug lord, Herbert Colangco, who was among the Bilibid 19 that was taken away from the maximum security prison and brought to the National Bureau of Investigation prison.

We felt bad because we had several top level meetings and I even volunteered to then Secretary De Lima to be the ground commander and all she could tell me was, ‘You just wait, Benjie’,” Magalong recounted.

Magalong said it was Bucayo who told him the CIDG and PDEA were no longer part of the operation.

Aguirre said Magalong’s revelation had strengthened the criminal and civil charges to be filed against De Lima.

Aguirre also said they have a paper trail of drug money that amounted to billions in an account that would be confirmed by the Anti-Money Laundering Council.

DOF GLAD OF MAGLALONG REVELATION

We are glad about General Magalong’s revelation. That would double the strength of our case to be filed against Senator De Lima because now we know why the CIDG and PDEA were kept out of the loop during the raid,” Aguirre said. “This could help in making our case against Senator De Lima and other public officials an airtight case.”

Magalong said Villasanta, Garbo and Bucayo were classmates at the Philippine Military Academy.

They were not part of the original group that planned Oplan Cronus. But it turned out they dropped us at the last minute,” Magalong said.

De Lima, Colangco said, was part of the raid and in fact, he made a last minute appeal to her when they were already at the NBI.

Colangco said he felt betrayed since he was giving De Lima P3 million a month in monthly “PR payola” out of the proceeds of the drug trade and P1 million every time there was a concert or event at the NBP.

The lawmakers, led by Umali took turns in asking Magalong as they did not understand why the CIDG and PDEA were dropped at the last minute.

But Aguirre said the NBI raid was all for show.

REAL INTENTIN OF THE RAID

The real intention was for the favored drug lord Jaybee Sebastian [to control] the multibillion drug trade in the NBP. Sebastian indeed made a killing because he had a heyday for eight months from Dec.15, 2014 when his competitors were herded away and were isolated,” Aguirre said.

Aguirre asked Magalong and PDEA to execute an affidavit on what transpired during the preparation of Oplan Cronus.

Magalong said he would be willing to execute an affidavit. Borja said the PDEA would do the same.

The testimony of Colangco and convicted for kidnapping former Chief Inspector Rodolfo Magleo that De Lima was collecting drug money was corroborated by five more high-value inmates in Wednesday’s hearing.

Magleo on Tuesday said De Lima was paid P10 million by Sebastian to effect the transfer of Bilibid 19, Sebastian’s drug syndicate competitors, to allow Sebastian to monopolize the drug trade inside the maximum security prison.

While De Lima personally assured Colangco that his transfer to the NBI was “temporary,” Colangco said his stay lasted eight months, allowing Sebastian to control the drug trade for that long.

Chief Presidential Counsel Salvador Panelo on Wednesday raised doubts about De Lima’s motive for interfering in the planned raid on the NBP.

DE LIMA SHOULD EXPLAIN WHY SHE STOPPED RAID

I think she should explain that,” Panelo said. “Why did she stop the raid? There is something fishy, something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” he said.

Magalong said that he was surprised and admittedly, dismayed, when on Dec. 15, 2014, he found out that the top-secret Bilibid raid was conducted without their presence.

Among those who conducted the raid, where De Lima was seen wearing cowboy outfit, were Marcelino Garbo, among the generals that President Duterte tagged as a “narco-general.”

Panelo said Magalon was “a very credible witness.”

He has no axe to grind against her [De Lima] and he has no political interest,” he said.

Umali on Wednesday said allowing Aguirre to question witnesses during the hearing was not a violation of House rules.

Secretary Aguirre is not the lawyer of the witness. He is the Secretary of Justice who conducted this investigation,” he said.

Umali also said Aguirre’s questioning was not unprecedented since it happened before in a Senate hearing wherein then Justice Secretary Leila De Lima grilled Benhur Luy, principal whistleblower in the pork barrel scam.

He added that this is how congressional inquiries should be conducted.

The Oriental Mindoro representative further noted that the first day of the proceedings was “well-managed and very orderly.”


PHILSTAR

NBP: ‘Little Las Vegas, drug trade center’; Leila tagged in NBP payoffs  By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 21, 2016 - 12:00am 0 10 googleplus0 1


Witnesses (from left) retired police officer and convicted kidnapper Rodolfo Magleo, National Bureau of Investigation agent Jovencio Ablen Jr. and former Bureau of Corrections acting director Rafael Ragos listen to congressmen yesterday. BOY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines – There were concerts featuring celebrity entertainers, beer flowed, “models” were available and business – the drug business – was conducted as money changed hands freely.

That was the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa, the “center of drug operations” in the Philippines, with its maximum-security compound for notorious convicts known as “Little Las Vegas” during Sen. Leila de Lima’s time as justice secretary, two inmate-witnesses at a House hearing disclosed yesterday.

“It was the drug trade center of the Philippines during the time of then secretary De Lima, because drug trading in the entire Philippines was done in the maximum security compound,” retired police major and kidnap convict Rodolfo Magleo said in Filipino when he testified before the House committee on justice yesterday.

The committee, chaired by Mindoro Oriental Rep. Reynaldo Umali, was hearing allegations of the proliferation of illegal drugs at the NBP during De Lima’s watch. The NBP is under the Department of Justice (DOJ).

Speaking from Davao City, President Duterte said he was right all along about the proliferation of illegal drugs at the NBP during De Lima’s time as DOJ chief.

“During the term of de Lima, the maximum security compound was called the Little Las Vegas. It was called Little Las Vegas because many concerts were held inside,” Magleo said.

READ MORE...


Infamous: Herbert Colanggo, a crime lord sentenced to 12 to 14 years after being convicted for leading one of the Philippines' bloodiest bank robberies in 2009 that left 10 people dead, and now a pop sensation HEADLINE NEWS FROM SYDNEY HERALD, DECEMBER 2014: Prisoners discovered 'living like kings' Inmates at Bilibid Prison in the Philippines had a stripper bar, jacuzzi, flat screen televisions and a recording studio among contraband discovered during a raid by authorities.. Photo: YouTube

Another witness-inmate, Herbert Colangco, confirmed Magleo’s account and bragged that he was the only VIP inmate who managed to sneak truckloads of beer in cans into the NBP and sold them for P10,000 per box.

Colangco also bragged about being able to bring in more than the allowable 300 guests for concerts within the NBP compound.

Magleo said celebrities like Freddie Aguilar, Sharon Cuneta, the Mocha Girls and Ethel Booba, among many others, had performed at the maximum-security compound.

Colangco, in his testimony, also boasted about hiring from outside the services of “models” for P25,000 each, and offering each model for P75,000 to moneyed inmates during special events at the NBP.

Both Magleo and Colangco testified De Lima’s contact inside the NBP was convicted drug lord Jaybee Sebastian, who had boasted to Magleo on several occasions that he could transfer inmates on a whim, citing the case of the so-called “Bilibid 19.”

Magleo said he personally saw De Lima spend two to three hours inside the kubol (hut) of Sebastian, adding that he found this “abnormal.”

While he had no proof De Lima’s affair with her driver Ronnie Dayan, Magleo said he “sensed” something was “intimate.”

“What’s striking to me was the transfer of the Bilibid 19 to the NBI headquarters. I saw how good he (Sebastian) was. He is the king of drug lords,” Magleo said in Filipino.

Magleo said he decided to come out in the open in support of President Duterte’s campaign against illegal drugs.

Convict Herbert Colangco testifies at the House of Representatives yesterday. MICHAEL VARCAS Sebastian – to whom he had been a “confidante” – paid De Lima P10 million for her help in removing his drug lord competitors, Magleo added.

Colangco said he was surprised when they were rounded up one day in the wee hours in preparation for their transfer to the NBI. He said he sought an audience with De Lima, who assured him the transfer would only be “temporary.”

“I told her thank you very much. The temporary turned out to be eight months,” he said.

He added he had to give in to the demand of Dayan for higher “payola” so he wouldn’t be moved from Muntinlupa.

“I said Ma’am, Dayan’s instruction to Joenel, I’ll go with it. Just don’t have me transferred,” Colangco said in Filipino, referring to the regular delivery of what he called “PR payola” to help De Lima’s senatorial campaign in the May 2016 elections. Joenel was reportedly Joenel Sanchez, De Lima’s aide.

“It hurts a lot, it’s too much. It seems they’re never contented,” he added, lamenting their being kicked out of their drug business despite paying bribe money.

Colangco called Sanchez De Lima’s “bagman” who had facilitated a conversation with the then DOJ chief through Globe postpaid number 0917-8421931.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III said the number was indeed registered with the DOJ.

Deputy Speaker Gwendolyn Garcia confirmed the number was De Lima’s in her contact list.

Colangco said he has in his possession a copy of the “receipt” for the P5,000 money transfer he sent to Sanchez, from the original P20,000 the latter demanded.

He likewise implicated in the drug trade in the NBP former Justice undersecretary Francisco Baraan, who exercised administrative supervision over the NBP, as well as former Bureau of Corrections director Franklin Bucayu.

A certain Susan from Baraan’s technical office reportedly received drug money for him in exchange for the inmates’ not getting transferred to the maximum-security compound.

On one occasion, Colangco said Baraan’s office asked for P500,000 to facilitate the transfer of one Chinese convict from the maximum compound to medium security. “So I told the drug lord, they’re demanding P800,000, so I can have P300,000 for payola.”

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre listens during yesterday’s House hearing on the alleged drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison. BOY SANTOS ‘I told you so’ In Davao City, President Duterte said he watched a portion of the House hearing and the illegal drug trade could not have flourished at the NBP without De Lima’s knowledge.

He stressed he was not saying that De Lima was into the illegal drug trade herself.

The President shared his opinion of what transpired in the House hearing with soldiers of the 10th Infantry Division at Camp Manuel Yan, Mawab, Compostela Valley.

Later in the night – this time with local officials in attendance – the President voiced his concern over the seriousness of the drug problem.

“If you listen to the TV right now and you listen and watch the House hearing on the illegal drug trade, you will know how widespread the problem is,” the President told a gathering of local officials at the SMX convention center in SM Lanang Premiere in Davao City.

“I was the favorite whipping boy of De Lima, lumaki agad ang ulo niya (it got to her head) when former president Gloria Arroyo appointed her to the CHR (Commission on Human Rights),” he said. - With Edith Regalado

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

‘Inmates raised P16 M for De Lima campaign’ By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 19, 2016 - 12:00am 25 52.5K googleplus10 5


Solicitor General Jose Calida holds a photo supposedly showing Sen. Leila de Lima with convicted drug lord Jaybee Sebastian at the national penitentiary.

MANILA, Philippines – Sometime in January 2014, convict Jaybee Sebastian summoned leaders of various groups in the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) under his faction called Presidio Side.

As head of the league of commanders of various gangs in the national penitentiary, Sebastian gave them a task: to raise millions in cash by selling illegal drugs inside and outside the NBP.

In an affidavit, an inmate who will face a congressional hearing this week claims that Sebastian, who was convicted of carjacking and kidnapping, made it clear to the gang leaders what the purpose of the collection was: to fund the senatorial campaign of then justice secretary Leila de Lima.

Those who defied the order or fell short in meeting their quota were meted penalties, including transfer to the National Bureau of Investigation jail in Manila – and an end to the VIP perks they were enjoying at the NBP.

De Lima has denied involvement in illegal drugs trade at the NBP as earlier alleged by President Duterte.

She earlier said she has received information that several inmates were accessed by the administration to fabricate testimonies and evidence against her.

Several inmates from Presidio Side also came forward and divulged their participation in Sebastian’s “fund-raising” for De Lima before the Department of Justice (DOJ) in its fact-finding investigation on proliferation of narcotics in NBP.

“We were told that there was nothing to fear, that we could freely move and that we would be protected. But we need to raise P20 million for our group within three months to support the senatorial candidacy of Secretary De Lima in the 2016 election,” one of them said in Filipino in an affidavit obtained by The STAR.

The inmate claimed that his gang followed the order and gave to Sebastian the money in four tranches. But he said they failed to reach the quota and were only able to raise P16,350,000.

“I said I could not meet the target anymore because my collection fell. From that time on, Jaybee treated me differently... That’s when he started to become tough on us,” he said in Filipino.

Two other inmates submitted separate affidavits to the DOJ supporting this claim.

One of them, who appeared to be Sebastian’s right-hand man in the Sigue Sigue Sputnik gang, said he was even tasked to monitor the compliance and collections from the gang leaders.

In February 2014, he said he met Jad de Vera, whom Sebastian introduced as a nephew of De Lima who would collect the money from him every Wednesday and Saturday.

“There was an instance when Jaybee called me out to his cell to prove that his collection was really for Sec. De Lima. I was shocked because when I arrived, Secretary De Lima herself was there,” the inmate alleged.

The third one also claimed that he saw De Lima at the NBP several times meeting Sebastian, sometimes even at wee hours.

“There is an instance when I am with Jaybee when Secretary De Lima arrived at NBP. They would go inside Jaybee’s room to talk privately. Once De Lima left, Jaybee would tell that De Lima already got the money raised by our groups,” he recalled.

The names of the three inmates were withheld for security reasons as they remain inside the NBP unlike other high-value inmates like Herbert Colangco and Noel Martinez who have been transferred to the custody of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (ISAFP).

They are also set to appear before the inquiry of the House of Representatives on this issue tomorrow.

In his affidavit reported by The STAR yesterday, Colangco alleged that De Lima also collected millions from their groups in the Carcel Side.

He claimed that they had given De Lima a payola of P3 million per month for protection of their illegal activities inside the NBP.

Colangco further alleged that the illegal drug trade inside the NBP before he and other high-profile inmates were transferred to NBI in 2014 was a P50-million per month business, which was monopolized by Sebastian.

Colangco’s Carcel is one of the two factions of inmates in the national penitentiary with over 7,000 members belonging to the Oxo Allied Group. The other is Sebastian’s Presidio Side, which has over 5,000 members, mostly from Luzon.


ABS-CBN

Govt torturing inmates to fabricate testimonies, says De Lima Kimberly Jane Tan, ABS-CBN News
Posted at Sep 20 2016 04:46 PM


President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila De Lima. File/Composite

A defiant Senator Leila De Lima on Tuesday accused the Duterte administration of using psychological torture on inmates to force them to fabricate false testimonies against her.

De Lima said she received "credible" reports that inmates and gang leaders were being taken by personnel of the Special Action Force (SAF) for overnight interrogations.

"[This] can also be a euphemism for psychological torture. I am referring to the overnight interrogations all in an effort to fabricate testimony that I have received bribes from drug lords," De Lima said during a privilege speech at the Senate on Tuesday.

Several inmates testified at a House probe on Tuesday that De Lima received millions in drug payoffs when she was still head of the justice department.

But the former justice secretary said these prisoners are just being forced into implicating her in the illegal drugs trade.

"The New Bilibid Prison under this administration is now a tropical gulag...prisoners are being selected and isolated just to be intimidated into implicating me and to fit the President's narrative that I am a drug coddler aside from being the most evil woman in the planet," she said, adding that the Commission on Human Rights should look into the reports.

READ MORE...

President Rodrigo Duterte had accused De Lima's former driver and bodyguard of being her link to convicted drug lords, who were supposedly allowed to run their illegal operations from detention during her time at the justice department.

Duterte even told De Lima to resign or hang herself.

The senator however remained defiant even after the Senate stripped her of chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Justice.

"It would take more than a committee chairmanship, a House inquiry intended to pillory and crucify me, an ethics committee complaint based on hearsay, a baseless election protest everyday or almost every day tirades from the secretary of justice and even the solicitor general and vicious personal attacks from the President to take me down," she said.

"Wag na po ninyong ituloy mahal na pangulo dahil mapapahiya lamang po kayo," she added.

VIDEO De Lima: Inmates tortured into testifying against me

 
https://youtu.be/JcqQBcCZeN0
De Lima: Inmates tortured into testifying against me INQUIRER.net INQUIRER.net Subscribe64,182 Add to Share More 4,679 views 9 40 Published on Sep 20, 2016 According to Sen. Leila de Lima, she has received "reliable" reports that inmates at the New Bilibid Prison are being taken by officers of Special Action Force to "overnight interrogation sessions" or psychological torture in an effort to fabricate testimonies that she has been receiving bribes from drug lords.

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

‘Drug convicts not forced to testify vs Leila’ By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 22, 2016 - 12:00am 0 1 googleplus0 0


New Bilibid Prison inmates Froilan Tristiza, Hanz Anton Tan, Jojo Baligad, Noel Martinez and Jaime Pacho testify during the continuation of the House committee on justice probe on alleged illegal drug trade at the national penitentiary yesterday. BOY SANTOS

MANILA, Philippines – The lawyer of convicted robbery and carjack gang leader Herbert Colanggo and several other inmates of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) claimed that the detainees were not coerced to testify against Sen. Leila de Lima at the House of Representatives’ inquiry on the proliferation of illegal drugs trade in the national penitentiary.

Lawyer Ferdinand Topacio denied the claim of De Lima in her privilege speech last Tuesday that Colanggo and his other clients – convicts Noel Martinez, German Agojo, Joel Capones and Jerry Pepino – were blackmailed, threatened, intimidated or even tortured into implicating her as alleged beneficiary of their illegal operations.

“My clients have neither been threatened, cajoled, tortured nor intimidated, nor have they been subjected to torture, either physical or psychological. Also, her ridiculous claims that my clients have been plucked from the NBP to undergo interrogation at the ISAFP facility in Camp Aguinaldo are the stuff of which fantasies are made,” Topacio said in a statement yesterday.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II explained earlier that Colanggo and other NBP inmates voluntarily came forward and submitted their statements against De Lima.

Topacio said De Lima’s insinuation only showed her propensity for making untruthful and irresponsible statements devoid of factual bases.

He stressed that his clients were transferred to the custody of the Intelligence Service of the Armed Forces of the Philippines for security reason “as they fear for their lives after coming forward to testify against her, knowing of the criminal capabilities of her henchman, JayBee Sebastian, who shares Building 14 with them.

“Their testimonies have also been taken under the supervision of the ISAFP in the presence of Public Attorney’s Office chief Persida Rueda-Acosta, the National Bureau of Investigation and their private lawyers, with all proceedings duly videotaped,” the lawyer bared.

Topacio also said the Commission on Human Rights may check on his clients, as suggested by De Lima.

“I dare her to visit them herself, not only to see whether they are under any form of torture or duress, but to confront them and look them in the eye and ask them if what they are saying is true. I will even accompany her to their detention facility,” he added.

VIDEO: Herbert Colangco Testifies Against Sen. Leila De Lima Full Replay

 
https://youtu.be/J8iZVUgJILc
Herbert Colangco Testifies Against Sen. Leila De Lima Full Replay Filipino Global Filipino Global Subscribe18 Add to Share More 4,070 views 21 0 Published on Sep 20, 2016 Herbert Colangco testimony on the of House Committee hearing into the alleged Drug Trade in New Bilibid Prison NBP...


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