MANILA - Rogue policemen recycled illegal drugs and kidnapped Chinese drug lords for ransom in an underground business that leads all the way to the Philippines’ state penitentiary, a former police general told a Senate investigation Thursday.
Retired police director Benjamin Magalong cited his previous investigation into a case where a Chinese drug lord was arrested and released for P50 million. Officers then allegedly nabbed another Chinese involved in the drug trade as a “replacement.”
Chinese drug lords serving time at the New Bilibid Prison continued to “remotely manage the entire drug trade in the country” despite what was supposed to be heavy security at the Muntinlupa facility, said Magalong, who is now the mayor of Baguio City.
“All roads practically lead to the New Bilibid Prison,” he told senators looking into corruption into the country’s prison system.
Magalong said there was no need for drug lords to set up drug laboratories inside the NBP, noting it was easier to establish them outside.
Former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said removing telecommunications, including internet connection, at the NBP would keep convicted drug lords away from the drug business.
“Walang gumagalaw d'yan na 'di gumagalaw ang pera,” he said.
Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the blue ribbon committee, described the NBP as a “snake pit.”
Magalong said some police officers also recycled pieces of equipment found in illegal drug laboratories, placing some of them in other locations to create the impression of multiple drug raids, said Magalong, who headed the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
A bulk of illegal drugs seized during raids were also sold back under a scheme called “fast break,” he said.