Dispatch from Crame No. 216: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Statement on PDEA’s Admission about the Resurgence of Illegal Drug Trade in New Bilibid Prison, Muntinlupa City


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Suspicious events bordering on the maleficent continue to hound President Duterte’s all-out war on drugs. The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) recently confirmed that illegal drug trading inside the National Bilibid Prison has been rejuvenated and that one of the inmates allegedly managed to facilitate the entry of at least one (1) ton of shabu into the country last November.

How can this government succeed in its “unrelenting” campaign to end illegal drugs menace when it could not even stop convicted drug lords under its custody from conducting their business?

As Justice Secretary, I knew that these high profile inmates should be stripped of the luxuries and logistics they obtained through bribery and should be segregated from the rest of the Bilibid inmate population, thus, the raids on their “kubols” and their eventual transfer to a more isolated and secure compound late 2014 up to 2015.

We in the past administration also jumpstarted the plan to transfer Bilibid from its current severely congested and dilapidated site to a modern prison facility which we believe would come a long way in addressing the pestering problem of prison-based criminality.

But instead of pursuing or building on these initiatives, this administration, desperate in its fabricated charges against me, struck a deal with these convicted drug lords – their testimonies of lies in exchange for the restoration of their privileges which enabled them to resume their illegal drug operations.

It was a perfect pact with the devil which was instrumental in my unjust detention. It also exposed this regime’s war on drugs as fraud with only the powerless and competitors as targets, while allies and those willing to “cooperate” remain scot-free and given posts in government.

Just last month, Duterte asked the public to give him another year to solve the illegal drugs problem. That was the fourth deadline he set for him to deliver on his key campaign promise and “save” the nation from what he considers the root cause of Philippine society’s troubles.

However, the resurgence of drug trading in the National Penitentiary and the 6.4 billion shabu smuggling controversy are two major indicators that we are being taken for a ride, big time, and at a very high cost for the more than 13,000 Filipinos killed and their kin.

It is insulting for political leaders to hide behind such obvious deceit but it is also equally alarming if their constituents believe and cheer their lies. ###

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