Sebastian: Drugs in Bilibid come from China, North Korea

Rosette Adel - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines – Bilibid inmate Jaybee Sebastian on Monday alleged that the illegal drugs at the national penitentiary are sourced from outside the country.

“Sa China po… and North Korea,” Sebastian said when asked where the illegal drugs used in drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison are from.

Beijing earlier expressed its support for President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs. In contrast, the United States, the European Union, the United Nations and some human rights groups have raised concerns on the rise in drug-related killings in recent months.

In his testimony at the House probe into the proliferation of alleged drug trade inside the penitentiary, Sebastian said that the drug trade behind bars is similar to the illegal drug trade outside.

He said they first identify inmates with active networks outside NBP and then negotiate with Chinese inmates for transactions.

He said Chinese traders facilitate the drug trade outside the prison.

“Yung big bulk, ‘yung mismong negosyo, hindi po nagaganap sa loob pero meron pumapasok na konti…panggamit yung iba, binebenta rin [sa loob], pero di ganun karami,” Sebastian said.

The witness said that drug deals are also being negotiated through direct communication with the outside world. He said inmates bribe Bureau of Corrections officials with P100,000 a week to turn off signal jammers installed to cut off communication.

Sebastian said Bureau of Corrections Operation Center officials and former BuCor chiefs Franklin Bucayu and Ricardo Rainier Cruz knew about the practice.

“It is also possible na binulag yung director,” he added as sa disclaimer.

“Hindi na po binubuksan [‘yung jammer], binubuksan na lang pag may inspection,” Sebastian said.

Sebastian denied that there is a shabu lab inside the NBP as alleged by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, citing informants.

Aside from the drug trade, Sebastian also divulged how other contraband items like liquor are brought into correctional facilities.

He narrated that in Manila City Jail, where he was first detained, liquor was smuggled in through tubes connected to nearby houses in Oroquieta, Manila.

He said there was initially no connivance between the prison guards and the inmates but that guards would not try to stop contraband from getting in.

He also said there was around P50 million to P100 million inside the penitentiary because of gambling and drugs within Bilibid. He said inmates had a money counter to keep track of the cash.

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