Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has belied the recent allegations of Bilibid inmate Herbert Colangco against her in a video rant, stressing that such move was merely his attempt to ensure his safety in prison, and his handlers’ ploy to try to deflect the real issue of Duterte administration’s incompetence and failed pandemic response.
De Lima said she was not surprised that Colangco, convicted of robbery and robbery with homicide, made the video rant right after the recent death of convicted Calauan Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who, like Jaybee Sebastian and other high-profile Bilibid convicts, died under dubious circumstances last March 27 inside his detention at the national penitentiary.
“The video rant of convicted murderer Herbert Colangco of RCBC Massacre infamy, now being disseminated by DDS social media sites, is his way of telling Duterte not to kill him yet because he still has a purpose to serve,” she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1051.
Colangco, who is currently detained in the tightly guarded general headquarters of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) in Camp Aguinaldo, recently alleged in a 20-minute video clip from prison that their lives are at risk.
He claimed that there was a supposed plan to transfer the supervision of witnesses against De Lima, including him, from the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology (BJMP), adding that that such move was purportedly meant to delay his exposé against De Lima as a witness in her drug trial.
For her part, De Lima recalled that NBP inmate and Prosecution witness against her, Noel Martinez, revealed under oath that there were talks among Bilibid inmates that some of those who died in prison were victims of “nacovid-covid”, most possibly referring to the supposed phenomenon of Bilibid inmates getting killed under the pretext of having infected with the Corona virus and immediately cremated to dispose of any evidence of the actual cause of death.
“Indeed, an incinerated cadaver will no longer leave traces of cyanide, or any other evidence of foul play,” said De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime.
The lady Senator from Bicol said Colangco’s video only proved that he continues to enjoy several perks as a DOJ witness, including cellphones and access to the internet.
“All of this is not to mention how Colangco seems to be living in better quarters since he lied in his testimony against me before the House Justice Committee in 2016, probably more luxurious than his Bilibid kubol I ordered to be dismantled during the Bilibid raid of December 2014,” she said.
“These privileges are given to the killer of RCBC employees in exchange for his perjured testimony against me,” she added.
With the release of the video, De Lima lamented how Duterte is still more interested in this diabolical scheme against her rather than in solving the COVID-19 crisis which continues to destroy the country’s economy and burden the public.
“The mismanagement and incompetence is almost incomprehensible, definitely inexcusable, criminal, and a national scandal of epic proportions. Yet what is Duterte doing? Groping his household help with his lechon-oily hands on his birthday, a most cursed day in our history as a proud nation,” she said.
De Lima further lamented how Colangco’s scripted rants and her trial are now being used as just another sideshow to distract Filipinos “from the doom that awaits them, as Duterte continues to bungle the COVID crisis and destroy our economy.”
“Tama na. Sobra sobra na ang Kalbaryong dinaanan at krus na pinasan natin sa ilalim ni Duterte. Isalba na po natin ang ating sarili at ang ating mga mahal sa buhay. Panahon nang paalisin ang buang at inutil na Pangulo sa Malacañang,” said she.
In a separate post on Twitter, De Lima pointed out that unlike Colangco and other morally depraved felons coddled by Duterte and the DOJ, she has no cellphone or electronic gadgets or access to the internet in her detention quarters in Camp Crame where she is currently detained unjustly.
“Sulat kamay lahat and then I send them out to my staff for encoding and release,” she maintained. (30)