MANILA - A former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) official and an official of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) said they used to deliver huge sums of money to then justice secretary Leila de Lima.
Former BuCor officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, during the House inquiry into the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during De Lima's term as justice secretary, said he delivered P5 million "quota" for De Lima.
Ragos said they delivered P5 million, which came from convicted drug personality Peter Co, to De Lima's driver, Ronnie Dayan, in November 2012.
He first saw the bag beside his bed at the Director's Quarters in BuCor. Ragos then received a call, telling him what to do with the money.
"Sir, 'yung black bag may limang manok po 'yan. Galing po kay Peter Co. Pakidala po kay Ronnie Dayan," Ragos said, adding that the caller refused to identify himself.
("Sir, the black bag contains five manok (chicken). It is from Peter Co. Please deliver to Ronnie Dayan.")
Ragos added that in NBP, "manok" means million, meaning the bag contains P5 million.
He also said he asked NBI official Jovencio Ablen to accompany him in delivering the money to De Lima's residence in South Bay Village in Paranaque City.
Ragos and Ablen delivered another batch of "quota" sometime in December 2012.
In a separate testimony, Ablen said he wrote a narration in 2013 to divulge the illegal activities inside the NBP. He also sent a letter to De Lima, expressing his intention to tell the truth.
However, De Lima gave his letter to Ragos, which led to a falling out between Ragos and Ablen.
Ablen also said Ragos threatened him when he wanted to leave BuCor and go back to his mother unit in 2013.
"Isusumbong ko na po sana kay Sec. De Lima, pero 'yung letter ko, ibinigay niya kay Dep. Dir. Ragos. In short, sinunog niya ako," he said.
Ablen added that he decided to testify when he learned that his life is in danger.
"Nito lang lamang pong Agosto, third week ng August, naka-receive po ako ng confidential information na tatrabahuhin ako ng NBI Intelligence Service, and at that time, si Dep. Dir. Ragos, siya ho ang deputy director-in-charge ng intelligence service namin. Previous to that, nagkaroon na ho ako ng death threat sa kanya eh. At that time na umaayaw na ako, gusto ko na bumalik sa mother unit ko from BuCor, nagalit na siya sa akin," he said.
"Sa term po ng law enforcement, ang terminology na tatrabahuhin ka, either apply-an ka ng search warrant, gawan ka ng kung ano anong charges, plantingan ka, or worse, patayin ka sa kalsada," Ablen also said.
Ragos and Ablen are among the six resource persons who gave their testimonies before the House panel. Other witnesses are Rodolfo Magleo, Joel Capones, Jaime Pacho and Herbert Colanggo.
All witnesses have been granted immunity by the House of Representatives.