Former BuCor OIC details other forms of corruption in BuCor; reiterates De Lima benefited when she was justice secretary

A Senate joint panel resumed its hearing into the problems in BuCor on Thursday, Sept. 12./Meanne Corvera/Eagle News/

(Eagle News)–Former Bureau of Corrections officer in charge Rafael Ragos on Thursday,  Sept. 12,  detailed other forms of corruption in BuCor, noting that then-Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was one of the “beneficiaries.”

Under questioning by Senator Panfilo Lacson, Ragos, who was appointed by De Lima at the helm of the BuCor, said he himself delivered P5 million to De Lima in her house in Parañaque at one time.

Ragos said he found the money placed inside a bag in the BuCor director’s quarters, after which he received a call allegedly from inmate Hans Tan.

Tan, Ragos said, told him to deliver the money from Peter Co to De Lima and Ronnie Dayan, De Lima’s bodyguard and boyfriend then.

The money, Tan told Ragos, was supposed to be part of the  campaign kitty of De Lima, who had  plans of running for senator at that time.

Intelligence agent Jovencio Ablen Jr., who was a member of the staff of Ragos who concurrently held the National Bureau of Investigation deputy director post at that time,  told senators Ragos called him up to accompany him to De Lima’s house in Parañaque.

“Nung nakasakay na ako sa sasakyan, (sabi ni Ragos), ‘Jun, atin atin lang. Magbibigay tayo ng quota kay lola,'” Ablan said.

Asked who “lola” was, Ablan said it was De Lima.

He said upon reaching De Lima’s house, he was told to stay outside.

From there, around 10 to 20 meters from the gate, Ablan said he saw Dayan who was already waiting for Ragos right outside the house.

Ablan said before entering the house, he saw Ragos give the bag containing the money to Dayan.

“Elevated kasi ang bahay so kita kong si (De Lima) inaabangan silang dalawa, si deputy (Ragos) at Dayan..Papasok na sila ng main door, nakita ko si Dayan, inaabot bag kay De Lima,” Ablan said.

Ablan and Ragos said they made a second delivery to De Lima’s house later on.

Other forms of corruption

According to Ragos, money also exchange hands when inmates request for parties to be held inside the national penitentiary.

He said the approval for the same  was given by the “higher authority” or the Secretary of Justice.

According to Ragos, money exchanged hands also when inmates request for prostitutes or “tilapia” to be allowed to enter Bilibid.

“Halimbawa dumating babae galing abroad, nagtatagal ng mga ilang araw, may bayad,” Ragos said.

He said money was also involved when inmates request to be allowed to gamble.

A building in Bilibid, for instance, would run a 24/7 gambling operation, he said.

When inmates request for catering services, Ragos said the BuCor director was given at least P800,000 per month.

A BuCor director-general, Ragos said, was also given “SOP” money upon assumption of office.

“Pag may bagong darating na opisyal…sa loob mismo ng maximum (security prison) may mga nangongolekta (for this), Ragos said.

“Sa part ko walang nakarating pero alam ko may nangongolekta,” he added.

He said, however, that he was offered by inmate Amim Boratong, who operated the shabu tiangge in Pasig, a ring  worth P600,000 upon assumption of office.

He said he told Boratong he did not need the ring.

Ragos said money also exchanged hands for the entry of construction materials for the inmates’ “kubol” where inmates would usually hide illegal drugs.

He said the price paid for the entry of contraband depends on the type of the contraband.

“Ang alam ko ang nagbebenta ng cellphone sa inmates mga BuCor personnel,” Ragos added.

All in all, he said a BuCor director-general would earn P300,000 to P500,000 a week from all the money-making schemes.