Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has lashed out at administration Senatorial candidate Ronald “Bato” de la Rosa for failing to stop convicted criminals from their illegal drug operations during his watch as then Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief.
Instead of resorting to gimmickry during his campaign sorties, De Lima reminded De la Rosa to explain to the Filipino voters about his dismal performance at the BuCor, including his obvious failure to stop illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“Being the former top investigator and law enforcer of the government as PNP Chief, Bato has revealed his most reliable investigation tool, ‘tsismis,” she said in her latest Dispatch from Crame No. 486.
“Instead of telling the public about what he learned from gossiping with prisoners, Bato should be explaining what happened to his promise that he will make the lives of Bilibid drug lords miserable, when one year after making his promise he admits that they are still in control of the drug syndicates in the country,” she added.
De la Rosa, whom De Lima referred to as a “showman” and a “mascot” than a “public servant” and a “professional,” recently admitted that drug convicts inside the NBP in Muntinlupa are still controlling drug syndicates outside the national penitentiary.
Before he assumed the post as BuCor chief in April 2018, De la Rosa vowed to end Bilibid drug trade, saying that “I will succeed, mark my word. As to how I will do it, just [use] your wild imagination. Hindi ako magpapatalo sa mga drug lord na yan.”
A known ally of Duterte who served as BuCor chief from May to October 2018, De la Rosa, also former chief of Philippine National Police, claimed to have supposedly received rumors from inmates about De Lima’s alleged links to drug trade.
The lady Senator from Bicol said that De la Rosa’s recent statement only proved that he “has nothing to show” for his roughly six-month stint as BuCor Chief when it comes to stopping Bilibid drug lords.
She added that De la Rosa’s only achievement as BuCor chief was his success in gathering hearsay stories against her from hardened convicted criminals during his so-called “casual conversations” with them.
“Bato implies that the inmates could not have been lying to him about my supposed drug links because they were not coerced into the ‘casual usapan,'” she said.
“Bato has just confirmed what the Duterte government and its DOJ has against me in the fictional and fabricated drug cases they filed: Prison gossip. Intrigues. Lies. Tsismis na naman ang pinapangalandakang ebidensiya ni Bato laban sa akin,” she added. Considered as a leading prisoner of conscience, De Lima is currently detained at the Custodial Center, in Camp Crame, Quezon City for bogus and absurd drug charges invented by the Duterte administration, borne out of Duterte’s personal vendetta against her.