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Tables turned on De Lima

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 508
Featured Witness Herbert Colangco gestures as he testifies against Sen. Leila de Lima during the Committee on Justice hearing at the House of Representatives. Photo by: Ver Noveno Witness Herbert Colangco gestures as he testifies against Sen. Leila de Lima during the Committee on Justice hearing at the House of Representatives.

THE New Bilibid Prisons (NBP), particularly the maximum security compound, turned into a “Little Las Vegas” and “Wild Wild West” on the watch of Sen. Leila de Lima when she was Secretary of the Department of Justice.

This is according to Rodolfo Magleo, the first witness in the House probe of the drug scandal in the NBP, who has been an inmate of NBP since 2004, after he was convicted of kidnapping.

In his testimony, Magleo told the House Committee on Justice that the NBP became the venue of big concerts of celebrities like Megastar Sharon Cuneta, Freddie Aguilar, Mocha Girls, Ethel Booba and others.

Likewise, it was the Las Vegas for the inmates because gambling and night life was very lively for the inmates especially the high-profile, mostly drug lords, prisoners.

Magleo, a former police inspector of the Philippine National Police, added that it was also during the time of De Lima that high-profile inmates could freely display their personal guns while walking or roaming around the maximum area like in the US tv show Wild Wild West.

“During the time of De Lima, Bucor Directors Guadencio Pangilinan and Franklin Bucayu, 80 percent of inmates had cellphones. Dapat bawal,” Magleo said.
   
He also testified that the drug trade inside the NBP proliferated during De Lima’s time because the money from the operations were collected for her senatorial bid,  with the help of his bodyguard and alleged lover Ronnie Palisoc Dayan.
   
“Pinatawag kami, apat na inmates para kausapin ni Secretary de Lima noon at kinausap na tulungan namin siya. Bago kami umakyat sa kubol, cordial ang usapan namin ni Ronnie. Sabi niya sa akin, tatakbo si secretary bilang senator. Ako naman tatakbo mayor sa Pangasinan, at si secretary daw ang magpondo sa kanya. Ang sabi ko lang ang swerte mo,” Magleo said.
   
When Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre asked if he has knowledge about the relationship of De Lima and Dayan, Magleo said “I sense something.”
   
According to Magleo, while Dayan told him that he was just the chief security of De Lima he sensed that the two has a special relationship.
 
“I did not see anything, but I could sense that they have something intimate,” Magleo told the lawmakers.
   
President Rodrigo Duterte had tagged Dayan as De Lima’s lover and the one who collected money for her from the NBP.