De Lima seeks probe into Bilibid 'food scam'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 26 2011 10:04 PM | Updated as of May 27 2011 07:06 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila de Lima wants an investigation into the alleged food budget anomaly at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

De Lima said she is ready to sack any DOJ official who will be found guilty of involvement in the anomaly.

She has met with an informant of ABS-CBN News to get more details about the allegation.

De Lima seeks probe into Bilibid 'food scam' 1The informant, "William," revealed that out of the P50 budgeted for an inmate's food daily, NBP officials supposedly get at least P5 in kickbacks.

With 40,000 inmates, the kickbacks amount to P6 million a month, or P72 million a year.

William narrated how NBP officials manipulate the bidding system to accommodate the suppliers they favor. Worse, some of these underhanded multi-million deals allegedly have the blessings of DOJ officials  who favor certain food suppliers. 

The NBP is under the supervision of the DOJ.  All of the NBP's contracts are also finalized and approved by the DOJ.

Aside from an investigation on the alleged scam, De Lima also wants to review how officials of the NBP are appointed.

"We need to overhaul the system. Palitan ang mga tao top to bottom para di na maulit yang mga kalokohang iyan," she said.

De Lima also urged the public to report NBP anomalies to her office. - Report from Jing Castañeda, ABS-CBN News; ANC