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‘Res ipsa loquitur’

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

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For a presidency and an administration that constantly pictures itself as “honest” and “incorruptible,” the nation now knows that it was precisely during the Aquino yellow regime when corruption was at its highest level — especially in the national penitentiary where money and drug trafficking, among other illegal businesses, such as women, wine and song brought in for the drug traders in prison, showed the moneyed prisoners’ power and government corruption.

This was revealed by Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong, the former director of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), who served as resource person during Thursday’s Senate Blue Ribbon Committee hearing on the Good Conduct Time Allowance Law and its implementing rules and regulations and their abuse.

Magalong stated unequivocally that the corruption at the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) and the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) peaked during the reign of the yellow president Benigno Aquino III and his Justice chief, Leila de Lima, now a detained senator and who, as the then Justice chief, had direct supervision over BuCor and the NBP.

Corruption, said Magalong, “started small but became bigger and worsened in the years 2010 to 2016, which were the years Aquino and his yellow team lorded it over the government.

Predictably, the yellow media did not raise a furor over these corrupt activities that were present during the Aquino reign then, yet the same yellow media must have known what was going on.

The media hue and cry today appears merely a sob.

Blue Ribbion chair Sen. Richard Gordon, based on data, bared that during De Lima’s stint as Justice chief, the total number of freed convicts, including those convicted of heinous crimes, numbered 8,932 inmates freed by BuCor.

Almost 4,000 of those freed were convicted of heinous crimes, while 4,965 were regular convicts.

No wonder the self-portrayed “political martyr” Leila refuses to reply to Ombudsman Samuel Martires’ letter seeking her answers to his questions. She, who has been bitching non-stop about the corruption in the Duterte administration, kept silent about the massive corruption that went on during her yellow political patron’s reign and her rule as his Justice chief.

And she has the gall to portray herself as an innocent and a persecuted political victim of the Duterte regime, when all that time in power and position, all-out corruption — and not only in the national penitentiary but in other agencies, including among those in the high echelons — was being engaged in by these hypocrites who portrayed themselves as “honest” and incorruptible.”

Leila’s BuCor chief then, Rafael Ragos, who had testified against her during the House hearings on the millions being collected from big-time drug traffickers for De Lima, whose eye was on a Senate seat and for which she now stands accused and remains in detention, confirmed the practice of millions being collected for Leila, by her former lover and bodyguard. It was also during Magalong’s term as CIDG chief that he had drafted a plan to “neutralize” the illegal drug network controlled by the prisoners, yet to this day, Leila has never come clean about her having excluded Magalong and his CIDG team, despite the many times when the then CIDG chief asked about the raid’s schedule.

The CIDG was deliberately excluded from the raid, despite Magalong having submitted its operational plan “Cronos” in December 2014.

Magalong only found out that the raid had been executed, with Ragos at Leila’s side, despite his already having alerted her on the questionable integrity of Ragos.

That “pretend” Leila raid was all done for propaganda for her Senate run, and obviously as a coverup for the real illegal drug goings-on in the national penitentiary. Besides, whispers were getting louder about the illegal drug trade, with all aspects of management at BuCor used in money-making schemes, such as the big-time prisoners’ paid “kubols” that ranged to millions of pesos.

When Vitaliano Aguirre assumed the position of Justice secretary, he had a National Geographic documentary video aired in the Philippines that showed prisoners and their “kubols,” as well as an even bigger one that served as some kind of an office for convicted prisoner Jaybee Sebastian, said to be the big boss who was even bragging about the setup, complete with then state-of-the-art electronic devices, used for the illegal drug business.

Noticeably, there was a framed picture of then Justice chief Leila de Lima, hanging in Sebastian’s “office.”

To this day, Leila has never been able to explain why she excluded Magalong and his CIDG agents from the planned raid, and instead got her appointed BuCor chief, Ragos, and her own picked team led by then Police deputy director general Marcelo Garbo Jr., who is said to have been the then primary protector of the drug triad operating in the Philippines.

Leila may continue to keep silent on her role in the raid where Magalong was deliberately excluded and instead got the protector of the drug lords in prison to lead the raid.

But maybe there is no need for her to explain the corruption and drug trafficking since hers is a case of res ipsa loquitur. The thing speaks for itself.
And loudly too!

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