JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday said he will look into the claim of a lawyer of the inmates who testified in the House inquiry on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison that previous Department of Justice officials were allegedly involved in a ‘‘parole for sale’’ scheme. However, Aguirre said it would be better for the lawyer who bared the alleged racket to also back up his claim with evidence.
“I will look into it. If there’s evidence then we should investigate. There should be documentary evidence of the alleged payments,” the DOJ chief said.
Earlier, lawyer Ferdinand Topacio disclosed that some of his inmate-clients who testified in the House inquiry told him they were encouraged by DOJ officials during the previous administration to apply for parole in exchange for money.
Topacio said his clients told him that “considerable amount of money have already been paid by them to these people,” though he did not identify the alleged officials involved and the amount of money given.
Among the clients of Topacio are inmates Noel Martinez, Vicente Sy, German Agojo, Joel Capones, Jojo Baligad, Herbert Colanggo and Jerry Pepino.
Sy, Baligad as well as Jamie Patio, Engelbert Durano and Nonilo Arile were the inmates identified by Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano as having pending applications for executive clemency and pardon before the Board of Pardons and Parole.