Magalong’s testimony on NBP drug trade probe revealing
THE TESTIMONY of Director Benjamin Magalong, Philippine National Police deputy chief for operations, in the House investigation into the drug trade being directed inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) explained why drug trafficking persisted in the national penitentiary: Key law enforcement officials apparently faked the efforts to stop the shabu business to get a cut from the sales.
No matter how Magalong and other crime fighters tried to do their job right, the police raids could only be an exercise in futility because their own bosses were hindering or tipping the drug lords. No wonder, despite the series of police raids conducted at the NBP during the time of then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, inmates continued to have in their possession cell phones, deadly weapons, drugs, and to enjoy modern, even five-star hotel amenities.
The reports about the raiders confiscating tons of contraband from NBP inmates made it appear that the facility was being cleaned up, but either the items were returned later or replacements were allowed by those on the drug lords’ payola, as shown by the subsequent raids which still yielded practically the same volume of contraband. Or the raids were faked just to show that the authorities were doing something about the problem. Or inmates were informed of the raids in advance so they could hide their illegal stuff.
Magalong told the House justice committee that De Lima discouraged him and the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group from doing a raid based on their plan, delayed raids, and probably did not keep the planned raids secret. Eventually, she and the NBI did the raids.
The raids uncovered the lavish lifestyle of some inmates, but no one is sure if their fully-furnished kubol were really dismantled, or if they were stripped of their smart phones and Wi-Fi, which they used to direct the drug trade operations inside and outside the prison walls.
All those who coddled the NBP drug lords will now have to face accountability for the drug production and trade at the NBP that continued during their time. And I know President Duterte will make sure that scalawags will be punished to clean up, once and for all, the police and Department of Justice of rotten eggs.
—DANICA GALSIM, [email protected]
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