MANILA (UPDATED) - Herbert Colanggo, leader of a gang at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), claimed on Tuesday that Senator Leila de Lima received millions of pesos from the illegal drug trade while she was still justice secretary.
At a hearing of the House committee on Justice, Colanggo also claimed that De Lima accepted P3 million in monthly bribes in exchange for allowing the luxurious lifestyle of some inmates.
Colanggo said he started raising funds for De Lima's at the urging of another NBP gang leader, Jaybee Sebastian.
"Sabi niya, pare tulungan natin si Ma'am, si Secretary de Lima para pondo sa 2015, 2016 election... Mag-teamwork tayo," said Colanggo, who was convicted of kidnapping. "Ang usapan namin ni Jaybee Sebastian ay tulungan ko siya sa pagbebenta ng shabu."
(He said let's help de Ma'am, Secretary de Lima, to fund her campaign in the 2015, 2016 election. Let's team up. We agreed that I'll help Jaybee Sebastian sell drugs.)
But after two weeks, Colanggo said he had a falling out with Sebastian over the leadership of their fellow inmates.
Colanggo said a certain Joenel Sanchez, De Lima's alleged "security aide," mediated between the two prison gangs so they could push through with their initial plan for De Lima.
Colanggo's gang allegedly sold at least 10 kilos of shabu every month until October 2014, according to his affidavit.
The inmate said he also gave De Lima a monthly "payola" of P3 million on top of the drug payoff.
"Bukod pa doon sa transaction na iyon, may P3 milyon po kami na ibinibigay buwan-buwan kay Secretary De Lima po," he said.
(Aside from that drug transaction, we gave Secretary De Lima P3 million every month.)
"Kinokolekta ko po sa aking area, sa mga big-time [drug pushers], P100,000, P200,000, P500,000. Pag umabot ng P3 milyon, buwan-buwan po iyun, iyun po ang payola para lahat ng gusto namin na kontrabando ipapasok."
(I collected from big-time drug pushers in my turf P100,000, P200,000, P500,000. Once it reached P3 million, every month, that's the payola I give so that we can smuggle all the contraband items we want.)
He said he started remitting the payola in October 2013 through Sanchez and a "Ma'am Lens," a supposed secretary in De Lima's office.
Colanggo said among the VIP perks he enjoyed were smuggled golf carts, motorbikes, and hundreds of boxes of beer, as well as the freedom to hold concerts.
Colanggo also claimed he also gave P1.2 million every month to Franklin Jesus Bucayu, former director of the Bureau of Corrections, who supervised the NBP.
ALLEGED CALL WITH DE LIMA
Colanggo said it was not until January 2014 that De Lima herself confirmed that she had received the monthly payola.
The inmate said he requested to speak with De Lima over the phone when Sanchez approached him with the new plan to raise money for the official's campaign kitty.
"Siyempre, nagduda ako, Secretary tapos ganoon. Sabi ko, Joenel, sir, pwedeng makausap saglit si Secretary," he said. "Ini-dial ko yung number. Inisip ko baka kunyari na si Secretary ito. Pero iyung boses niya po, dahil lagi ko siyang napapanood sa TV, ay talagang siya po."
(Of course I also had doubts because she was a Secretary. I asked Joenel if I could speak with the Secretary. I dialed the number. I even thought that the other person on the other line may just be pretending to be the Secretary. But I recognized her voice because I always see her on TV, it was really her.)
Colanggo allegedly told de Lima: "Ma'am, confirm ko lang po, andito po si Sir Joenel, may instruction po sa akin (Ma'am, I'd just like to confirm that Sir Joenel is here, he has new instruction for me)."
"Okay, bahala na kayo diyan (take care of it)," De Lima allegedly replied.
"Ma'am confirm ko rin po na nag-umpisa po siya (Sanchez) sa October 2003, kinukuha niya po yung 3-M po," Colanggo also allegedly told De Lima. (Ma'am, I'll also confirm with you Colanggo has been collecting the P3 million since October 2003.)
"Okay, okay, Herbert, thank you," went De Lima's alleged reply.
Colanggo also managed to save De Lima's alleged mobile number, which he recited before the congressmen.
Aguirre read a certification from the Department of Justice (DOJ) confirming that the number was for a a postpaid plan issued to De Lima from September 2012 to October 2015.
Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia said the same number is registered in her phone as De Lima's contact detail.
De Lima was named justice secretary in 2010.