Bilibid drug trade probe to be tossed to NBI
MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) will turn over to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) its probe into the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) so that the NBI, an attached agency of the DOJ, can begin a fact-finding probe that will serve as the basis of the filing of cases.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre bared this a day after the NBI received a report from the Anti-Money Laundering Council (AMLC) on a request for the bank transactions of personalities implicated in the so-called Bilibid drug trade.
There exists a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the NBI and AMLC on matters pertaining to the scrutiny of bank deposits and transactions arising from proceeds of illegal activities.
The (AMLC) report is basically a list of several accounts and transaction records that show major deposits, some amounting to as much as P500 million, Aguirre said.
Aguirre cannot divulge the bank account names, amounts, and transactions contained in the report since this is prohibited by Republic Act (RA) 9160, also known as the Anti-Money Laundering Act of 2001.
The DOJ is now mulling filing a petition for freeze order over these accounts.
Aguirre reiterated that he does not expect former Justice Secretary and now Senator Leila de Lima, who is the highest ranking government official linked to the Bilibid illegal drug trade, to deposit proceeds of the illegal activities, if any, to her own personal accounts.
The network of accounts being investigated by the DOJ will precisely determine whether these alleged monies are hidden elsewhere, Aguirre stressed.
The justice secretary also said these bank transactions will corroborate the testimony of inmate witnesses that certain deposits (proceeds from illegal drug trade) were made in certain bank accounts.
Asked if any of the bank accounts of government officials or personnel being implicated in the Bilibid illegal drug trade contains deposits not commensurate to their income, Aguirre said, "yes," without going into details.
Aguirre said the filing of cases against those involved in the Bilibid drug trade will happen anytime soon, stressing that the NBI is working on making their cases airtight.