Kidnapping and murder convict Nonilo Arile on Thursday revealed to a House inquiry the big-time drug lords operating inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
During the House of Representatives committee on justice’s inquiry on the alleged Bilibid drug trade, Arile said the top five convicted and influential drug lords smuggling drugs inside the national penitentiary were Benjamin Marcelo, Sam Li Chua, Peter Co, Willy Yang, and Robert Lee.
Arile was able to gather this information by working as an “asset” of Col. Jerry Valeroso, who was then assigned at the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
Arile said three weeks prior to the launch of Oplan Galugad in December 2014, he personally saw the Php 65 million contained inside a cigarette box found in Chua’s dwelling.
However, after the said operation, the hefty amount plus other jewelry, guns and expensive items amounting to Php 300 million had gone missing, Arile added.
Valeroso, who also testified before the justice committee hearing, further corroborated Arile’s statement.
”I personally evaluated all information provided to me by Arile and forwarded the same to the CIDG for consolidation. In the year 2014, I also conducted surveillance operations inside the NBP Maximum Security Compound through the assistance of Arile,” Valeroso said.
Valeroso said they were able to mount significant anti-narcotic operations inside the NBP itself through Arile’s tip coupled with their own verification process.
He described the “extravagant lifestyle” of the inmates inside the maximum security compound, pervaded by gambling, guns and stacks of cash.
Valeroso also said that the drug trade still exists and was simply transferred from the maximum to the medium security compound when the Philippine National Police Special Action Force took over.
”I know for a fact that the drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison is still alive and well inside the Medium Security Compund[…] This is possible because it is the prison guards themselves who bring in the drugs and pass them on the drug lords incarcerated therein,” Valeroso said.
The police official also echoed the names revealed by Arile as the the “big-time, yet discreet, Bilibid drug lords”. (PNA)