FORMER Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III yesterday denied accusations linking him to the illegal drugs trade in the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).
In a statement, Baraan also expressed readiness to prove his innocence in a formal proceeding.
Earlier, President Rodrigo Duterte said Baraan’s name appears in a matrix showing former Justice Secretary and now Senator Leila De Lima’s alleged links to drug lords serving jail terms inside the NBP.
“I respect our President, but I am powerless before him. All I ask is fairness and due process, a chance to vindicate myself in a formal proceeding. If a complaint will be filed, so then I will have the opportunity to present my side,” Baraan said.
“All I can say now is that this is something I totally cannot imagine myself being involved in; it contradicts the deepest Christian values I hold dear. I know myself, and in due time the truth will prevail,” Baraan said.
He denied having direct supervision over the operations of the Bureau of Corrections, particularly the NBP.
The BuCor, he said, was just one of several DoJ agencies under his “limited” administrative supervision.
“As undersecretary having limited administrative supervision of BuCor, I never did oversee, either on the ground or from a distance, the prison operations in BuCor’s 7 penal colonies, more so the National Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa,” Baraan said.
“As wrongly reported, I was not Usec in charge of the Bilibid: this is a total misconception,” he added.
Baraan recounted that as DoJ undersecretary he would only countersign BuCor contracts or documents endorsed and reviewed by the Technical Services before these were forwarded to the Office of the Justice Secretary for final signature.