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Inmate claims they were forced to raise money for Justice chief

  • Written by Jester P. Manalastas
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 263

inmate-turned-witness in the ongoing House probe yesterday disclosed that they were forced to raise money not just for ex-Justice Secretary Leila de Lima but also for officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Jojo Baligad, convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, told the House Committee on Justice that he was forced to raise about P3.8 million from January 2013 to April 2014.

According to Baligad, adviser of Batang City Jail gang, even former BuCor Director Franklin Bucayu and officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos asked for payola.

Of the P3.8 million, the P1.5 million was remitted to De Lima upon the instruction of drug lord Jaybee Sebastian.

The rest was given to Bucayu, P1.7 million and P600,000 for Ragos.

“Ang isang milyon at pitong daang libong piso (P1.7 million) ay para sa kanila ni Director Franklin Bucayu at Col. Elie, samantalang ang anim na daang libong piso(P600,000) ay para kay  OIC (NBI officer in charge) Rafael Ragos. (P1.7 million was for Director Franklin Bucayu and Col. Elie, while P600,000 was for OIC Rafael Ragos,” Baligad said in his affidavit read before the hearing.
Baligad said the money came from sale of shabu and jueteng, which he called “Easy 2.”
The witness said it was Ragos who collected the money for De Lima.
During the first hearing, Ragos testified that he delivered at least P5 million to De Lima in her residence in Parañaque.
Witnesses who have appeared in the House probe claimed that Sebastian and another high-profile inmate Herbert Colanggo ordered them to raise money for De Lima's senatorial bid.
In addition, Baligad said Ragos tasked him and the other gang leaders to raise “tara” or monthly protection money of P100,000.
“Ang kapalit ay kaluwagan sa kulungan. Dahil sa kaluwagan, hindi na kinukumpiska ang mga kontrabando, shabu, marijuana, pati cellphone,”he told the House panel.