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20 September 2016 / RTS / IV-1
-----------------------THE CHAIRPERSON. (Continuing) as we now proceed to tackle resolution
calling for an investigation in aid of legislation on the proliferation of drug syndicates
of the National Bureau of Prison.
For the record, three weeks ago, much as we wanted to and conduct an
inquiry into this issue, we could not do so because the Committee has not yet been
fully organized. At that time, we only have, I think about 12 Members and two ViceChair. And likewise, the Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation
has not yet been published. Neither can we now postpone it for a later date because
of the Plenary Budget hearing. So we deemed it appropriate to hear this today and
tomorrow and depending on the directive and the needs of continuously hearing on
this, then we will ask the leadership if we can pursue this until we fully cover minded
that we only have about, I think, two months under the Rules to be able to fully
dispose of this particular issue.
So, anyway, let me just point out also that, again, this is not about Senator
Leila de Lima, who is my sister in girls sorority, Lambda Rho Sigma, and this is really
about the issue on the proliferation of drug syndicates in the NBP. And I would just
like to disabuse the mind of my sis that this is a sham hearing and this is a kangaroo
committee that is being conducted here. So, but, anyway, having said that, what we
need to establish are the facts needed to enable Congress to effectively perform its
I do recall, having been Vice-Chair of the Committee on Justice in the last two
Congresses, that we did conduct some investigation. But the trouble is, while we did
some investigation, the problem persisted and probably ev was even aggravated.
So, these are the things now that we would want to put a closure on by this
Committee and we want to do it as holistically as possible, covering not only the
correctional aspect of the criminal justice system but the three other pillars so that the
fifth pillar, and that is the community, will regain trust and confidence in the criminal
justice system.
Our goal is to come up with a report containing the findings of our

This report will also contain our recommendations based on our

findings which will take either one of three forms or all of three.

New a new

legislation, remedial or a mandatory legislation or a directive to the appropriate

agency to issue the necessary administrative regulations as part of our oversight
functions in Congress.

20 September 2016 / RTS / IV-2
-----------------------With this in mind, I hope that we can conduct this investigation in an orderly
fashion and I enjoin all Members to please observe the proper decorum as
Honorable Gentlemen as we are, that we avoid going to issues on personality but
stick to the issues at hand.
I understand that we have witnesses with testimonies that would help us
determine the cause of the problem of proliferation of drugs and drug syndicates in
the New Bilibid Prison, and who among the responsible government officials before
and even today are capable are culpable, sorry, through direct participation or
through or gross inexcusable negligence in allowing these syndicates to proliferate
while inside the supposed maximum security compound. The commitment to the
NBP of persons convicted by final judgment is supposed to be the final act to the
victims of criminality in this country. These convicted persons are supposed to serve
their sentence as punishment imposed by them on them by the Judiciary and be

This is supposed to be the closure for the victims and their families.

Unfortunately, the fact that these convicted felons are still able to continue with their
illegal activities while incarcerated makes a complete mockery of our criminal justice

It renders the justice sought by the victims and their families as mere

illusion. For how can justice be truly served when the perpetrators themselves are
still able commit crimes with impunity while inside the National Penitentiary. This
question must be answered in this inquiry and we must be able to get to the bottom
of this issue in order to make sure we put finish to this travesty of justice.
So, now, we would like to request first the Vice-Chairman of the
Subcommittee on Correctional Reforms to give his opening remarks because this is a
matter really that is covered by his Subcommittee before we proceed to the sponsors
of this Bill.
REP. OAMINAL. Thank you very much, Mr. Chair.
In July this year, just as we formally ushered in a new regime that was elected
on a promise to rid our beloved nation of illegal drugs and crime, the House of
Representatives, through the able leadership of Speaker Alvarez and other
Members, filed a resolution calling for an investigation in aid of legislation on the
proliferation of drug syndicates at the National Bilibid Prison.
Over the past years, the Filipino peoples eyes have been opened to a hard
and sinful truth. While rumors abounded that the National Bilibid Prison was a hub
where illegal drug trade proliferated, our eyes were fully opened when a raid was
conducted on December 2014 by then Secretary of Justice, now Senator Leila de

20 September 2016 / RTS / IV-3
-----------------------Lima. The said raid, which was highly publicized, yielded shabu and other drug
paraphernalias, inflatable sex dolls, a stripper bar, and jacuzzi spread across 19 airconditioned kubols built for convicted drug dealers. Law enforcement authorities also
found in subsequent raids other prohibited items such as firearms and bladed
weapons, mobile phones, flat screen TVs, laptops, wifi, luxury watches, a sauna, and
over two million in cash from body searches of several high-profile inmates.
In the villa of Peter Co, which was linked by secret pathways to areas around
the Bilibid, authorities have also seized documents containing a list of names with
corresponding cash amounts and dates involving drug transaction.
Meanwhile, in another kubol occupied by robbery gang leader Herbert
Colangco, police found a music studio where he was reportedly able to produce a
music video that went viral on Youtube.
According to news reports, more than 30 raids have been conducted between
2014 to 2016. Yet, despite these raids, the current reality show that the illegal drugs
trade discovered in the National Bilibid Prison not only continues but actually thrives.
Are we to deduce that the illegal drug trade, we should stress, within government
property has proliferated because it has actually been allowed to by people in power
or are we to surmise that, because of overcrowded cells, the task of discovering and
addressing has become a sure impossibility for our prison stewards? We must find
out whether those tasked with supervising our prisons have turned a blind eye on this

Is there truly a shabu factory inside or was shabu allowed to be

transported inside prison grounds? What were the result of those raids? Were those
conducted merely for show to gain popularity