THE hut of a gang leader who is allegedly a friend of Justice Secretary Leila de Lima was spared in a recent raid on the maximum security compound of the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP)in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), a reliable source said on Thursday.
According to the source, the inmate- -Jaybee Niño Sebastian—resides in one of the most comfortable houses inside the compound. His kubol or hut has an entertainment room, kitchen, comfort room and an air-conditioned bedroom.
NBI operatives on Monday swooped down on the cells of known drug lords Peter Co, Herbert Colangco and Jojo Baligad and confiscated illegal items including firearms, appliances and stash of cash. The raiding team, however, did not touch the condominium-like quarters of Sebastian, the source said.
A reliable source at the NBP told The Manila Times that Sebastian and de Lima are friends.
“Everytime the Secretary is in the NBP, she would ask Sebastian to see her,” the source, an officer of the Bureau of Corrections, said. BuCor has direct administrative control of NBP.
Sebastian was allegedly introduced to de Lima by another inmate who happens to be a religious leader. The pastor is a known friend of one of the personal bodyguards of the Justice secretary.
The Manila Times tried but failed to get de Lima’s side.
The source said Sebastian and Colangco have recorded songs inside the NBP.
Colangco’s singing prowess was seen on the Internet after a video of him belting out his cover version of “Ako’y sa Iyo, Ika’y sa Akin” was uploaded on YouTube. Colangco had held several concerts inside the maximum security compound.
The source said Colangco and Sebastian set up entertainment equipment, including instruments used by a band, inside the penitentiary.
But Bureau of Corrections Director Farnklin Bucayu, in an interview with TV Patrol on Thursday, said he was not aware that Colangco was able to record an album inside his cell.
De Lima has vowed to conduct more raids on the NBP.
But Sen. Nancy Binay said the Justice chief should share the blame for lapses made by officials and personnel of the NBP because BuCor is under the jurisdiction and supervision of the Department of Justice.
Binay added that the fault lies in the system inside prison facilities.