Too many credible witnesses claim Bilibid drug lords gave her tons of money



There’s just too many credible witnesses alleging that Senator Leila de Lima, when she was President Aquino’s Justice Secretary, protected the lucrative billion-peso drug trade in the Bilibid National Prison, and that the drug lords who were inmates there, upon de Lima’s demand, raised at least P20 million for her campaign to get a senatorial seat in the last elections.

I listened Monday to the testimonies of seven out of the more than 30 witnesses whom the Justice department said submitted sworn testimonies linking de Lima to the Bilibid drug lords.

Contrast that to the single, very dubious witness Norie Unas who accused former Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s “electoral sabotage” in the 2007 elections, for which she was incarcerated for four years. Unas was a long-time assistant of Governor Andal Ampatuan, Sr., the top suspect in the Maguindanao Massacre,. He was threatened to be included among the 36 accused  for the massacre if he didn’t testify against Arroyo. Or to another single witness, an admitted killer Edgardo Matobato, who implicated President Duterte in the operations of the Davao Death Squad.

I watched the whole afternoon the other day until the evening the House of Representatives’ Justice Committee’s hearing (which lasted 13 hours)  in which Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre presented the witnesses, together with their signed, sworn testimonies.

You can only appreciate how credible the witnesses are, how much De Lima is in deep trouble, if you endured the many hours listening to the hearing, as I did.

The hearing revealed how far from being an Inquisition the hearings were, in contrast  to those conducted during the Aquino administration. Justice Committee chair Reynaldo Umali, who presided over these recent hearings, was a Liberal Party stalwart, its treasurer during the past regime.

The hearing  showed how certain congressmen grilled the witnesses in their clumsy attempts to destroy their credibility but failed, as Rep. Vicente Veloso tried to do in an irritating, stupid way. How deep de Lima’s personal and financial involvement had been with the drug lords, that she visited its maximum-security section a dozen of times. How much the National Prison had been made into a drug lords resort, that one Chinese-Filipino drug lord claimed he paid Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan P1 million just to be transferred back from its prisons in an island province to Bilibid. How huge the illegal drug trade had been under de Lima and Aquino, with two Chinese-Filipino drug lords estimating it as a billion-peso industry. How intimate De Lima’s relationship with her driver-security aide Ronnie Dayan, with the man reportedly even dominating her, at the same time acting as her agent, who collected the dirty drug money for her.

She needs a miracle: Alleged druglord inmate Colanggo, among many, testifying against De Lima at the House hearing. (Right) Praying at the CBCP chapel.

She needs a miracle: Alleged druglord inmate Colanggo, among many, testifying against De Lima at the House hearing. (Right) Praying at the CBCP chapel.

It is a shame, and even scandalous, that the TV networks devoted only a few minutes to its coverage of the hearings. GMA 7 even had a much longer coverage of de Lima crying (literally) that she is being persecuted, and speaking in a Holy Mass at the CBCP chapel. (Are these priests and nuns who allowed her to do so ignorant or plain stupid that they didn’t see that she was simply using them to stage her fake drama of being persecuted, as Jun Lozada did?)

No doubt on witnesses

I have watched so many such hearings in Congress, and I have to say there can be no doubt on the veracity of the witnesses’ main testimony. “Main,” as there were differences in some details they presented, but such inconsistencies only mean that they weren’t given a script to follow, and they were in certain cases, quite naturally trying to save their own necks. For example: Jaybee Sebastian claims he wasn’t the top drug lord in prison, contesting Herbert Colangco’s testimony. It was Colangco who was the top drug lord, Sebastian claimed.

The witnesses’ backgrounds were so diverse and their involvements in activities inside the Bilibid Prison so different.

Among them: the Filipino-Chinese drug-lord inmates Vicente Sy and Peter Co, who procured the supply of shabu from abroad and in the country; the three gang leaders who distributed within and outside the prison camp the illegal drugs supplied by the Chinese-Filipinos, Herbert Colangco, Jaybee Sebastian and Nonilo Arile; Colangco’s “talent manager” Reynante Diaz, a non-inmate who managed the gang leader’s concerts in the national prison, and procured high-class prostitutes for him; a former National Bureau of Investigation deputy director who supervised Bilibid for a time, Rafael Ragos; former police officer and kidnapping convict Rodolfo Magleo; and even de Lima’s two close-in security personnel, who were soldiers assigned from the Presidential Security Guards.

Such a diverse a group of witnesses against de Lima – all accusing the former justice secretary De Lima of mainly two things:

First, that she made her security aide and driver Ronnie Dayan not only her lover but her personal assistant and accomplice in asking for and physically receiving bribe money from the Bilibid drug lords amounting to tens of millions of pesos. Dayan, through de Lima, asked the drug lords for more money to finance her bid to become senator in the 2016 elections.

“De Lima and Dayan were the “powers that be” at the justice department and in Bilibid, former NBI deputy director Ragos, who claims his family had been close friends of de Lima, said. De Lima had fallen for Dayan so much that in a quarrel, one witness claimed, the driver even pointed a gun in anger at the justice secretary. Dayan has refused to appear before the committee on justice hearings, so that the committee issued an arrest order for him and directed law enforcement agencies to capture him.

Second, de Lima, according to the witnesses, received tens of millions of pesos from the drug lords in exchange for their luxurious life-styles inside Bilibid and for their illegal-drug operatiions.  De Lima, according to two witnesses,  was given  P800,000  by the enterprise that provided the Bilibid staff’s meals.

While the precise amount the drug lords in Bilibid gave de LIma  could not be determined as it wasn’t clear if money delivered to her by different people, for instance by NBI official Ragos, was different from those the drug lords claimed they raised for her. The NBI  official counted P14.5 million as the amount he delivered to de Lima. Incumbent Justice Secretary Aguirre said he has proof that the total bribe money de Lima got since 2013 would not be less than P100 million.

I think De Lima had been so confident that her involvement in the Bilibid drug trade would never be exposed since she expected the Liberal Party standard-bearer Mar Roxas to win the presidency, and that her becoming a senator would make her politically invincible. Hubris has often been the cause of a haughty politician’s fall.

Complicated operation

Not by any stretch of imagination could this administration have its  justice secretary scheme in such short a time  as to have hatched and implemented such a complicated operation involving  over 30  diverse witnesses to make such allegations against de Lima.

Such project is simply beyond this administration. So far, it has even demonstrated such clumsiness and lack of central control — it has even forgotten to fire officials of government corporations appointed by, and extremely loyal to, the past president —that it would be impossible for it to have orchestrated thee accusations against de Lima. With the level of commitment and intelligence those congressmen have, they would never have been able to stage a persecution.

It is striking, really, that de Lima has not denied that Dayan was her lover. She dismisses this as something personal she has the right not to discuss. Her accusers, though, say their relationship had moved out of the personal dimension, since it was Dayan who had mainly received the dirty money for her, and because of her reputation as de Lima’s lover and accomplice, had even his own money-raising rackets in Bilibid and even in other justice department jurisdictions. The number of credible witnesses against her has demolished her pretense of being victimized by people “who don’t have balls”,  as she claimed.

What kind of a country have we become under Aquino that Bilibid, the national prison,  where  those convicted of the most heinous crimes are supposed to be locked up and suffer, had become not only some kind of a hotel resort, a little “Las Vegas” as the drug lord inmates themselves dubbed their maximum-security compound? How could it happen that  Bilibid had become the headquarters of drug lords, where they directed their lucrative illegal-drug operations,  the huge revenues from which allowed them to enjoy luxuries only millionaires can enjoy,  It was even disclosed in the hearing that the drug-lord inmates routinely procured  prostitutes, even high-priced ones that one  inmate  paid  former starlet Rosanna Roces P25,000 just for pimping one, as she claimed.

What kind of a country have we become under Aquino that the justice secretary had become one of the country’s worst violators of the law, and yet was able to acquire a seat in the Senate?

If  corruption under the Aquino administration could transform Bilibid National Prison into such criminals’ paradise that they could generate tens of millions of pesos from their illegal-drug business there,  what other dark secrets of the past regime  have yet  to be brought to light?


Please follow our commenting guidelines.


  1. D5 is using the priests and nuns; the priests and nuns are using D5.

    Symbiotic Relationship.

  2. I believe in God our father and Jesus Christ his son. But, not Priest pricks and bloody Nuns cunts. They are hypocrites in all sense of the word. Especially those bishops.

  3. It takes a psycopath to bring out the dirtiest unimaginable filth the Philippine politics ever had. I need more of psychopaths to make the changes in the country, excluding the Agot Isidore kind.

  4. AMB. Tiglao please tell us how can we email GMA. I`ve noticed lately, of their biased reporting in particular to De lima given more time on her than the others seeking juctice.
    When in fact everytime Pres.. Duterte are invited to a function I saw GMA CEO in front seat oo ng oo di pa nga nakakatapos magsalita ang Pres.

    They don`t realize that most of their audiences are Pres. Duterte supporters, just a reminder GMA. We are not amused.

  5. I have reserved my own opinion over Mr. Tiglao’s story against de Lima, for reason that veracity over the issues that were produced by the witnesses could also a mere magination produced for favors they would have from the government or fromt the office of the present justice secretary. The witnesses have their common need, and they could easily be convinced to make a common reason against De Lima. I guess, the best way to find out the truth is to see the bank account of De Lima. I know that Mr. Tiglao story is always colored with bias and against the yellow cult. I stand independently on the issue of De Lima over her alleged involvement in illegal drug trade accused by present justice secretary, for they all have their own motive to restore themselves by destroying others.

    • I suppose the only witness you will give credit to, is the Pope, and yet, if it concerned the yellow turds, you’d still have your doubts you one eyed yellow bastard!

  6. “Ikulong nyo na iyan. Walang puwang sa maayos na lipunan ang mga opportnista na katulad ng babae na iyan.”
    Gen Antonio Luna.

  7. wataboytacloban on

    I remembered her political commercial. Not a clue about the truth. Glad I didn’t vote for her.

  8. What is certain are this:
    1. High profile Inmates enjoyed life in (kubol ) incarceration. Ironic.
    2. No one denies that drug trade proliferated inside to the outside.
    3. Chicks were delivered by osang inside and they’re beautiful…s
    4. And the question: how in the hell this could happen in a rehab facility — without the authorities knowledge? … and consent…
    5. All these is hypotheses.

  9. I wouldn’t be surprised if soon, Pnoy, Paquito Ochoa, Mar Roxas and a bunch of Liberal stalwarts will be named end beneficiaries of Drug money. De Lima would not be brazen enough to act and accomplished this acts all be herself, without the knowledge and blessings of her bosses. No wonder Ochoa was able to build his mansion and Roxas together with Pnoy are so deafening in silence. De lima is also under threat not to spill the beans and pretend to be the victim of persecution.

  10. Can’t wait for the grand entrance of Abnoy into the picture! I am sure he has a lot of involvement and contributes big time into this mess!

  11. One big question in my mind- Jaybee does not know Ronnie Dayan? Really? Is Jaybee saving Dayan’s neck for whatever reason? Is he afraid or because of “utang na loob”

  12. Perceptive of you Mr. Tiglao to notice GMA 7 is shielding D-5, makes one believe VACC suspicions ex-SOJ D-5 fixed the Ruby Rose Barameda murder case. If there is any truth to the rumored link to family connected to a CEO of that Network, do you dare dig into this Mr. Tiglao?

  13. Sir Tiglao,
    Si Veloso ang light moment during that serious investigative hearing. Tawa ako ng tawa. Pwede syang panglaban ng Channel 7 kay Vice Ganda ng Channel 2. Ha ha. Pati na rin yung ladycongresswoman na nag interpellate doon sa 2 chinese druglords. Haha. talking about pababaan ng IQ. Compare to her, supergenius si Congressman Pacquiao.

  14. Brilliant comparison of GMA case vs de lima wherein only 1 witness for GMA vs de lima’s 30+ yet GMA was jailed for 4 years.. Though a former President, GMA didn’t do what d5 is doing right now using media in cleaning her name (presscon, speaking engagement, praying w/priest/nuns, etc) . What a lady ang kapal talaga, sabagay totoo ang kasabihan na “mahirap gisingin ang nagtutulogtulogan, mahirap makarinig ang nagbibingibingigan at mahirap magsalita ang nagpipipipi pipihan. Malaki talaga ang nagagawa ng pera galing sa drugs…

  15. Congratulations Sir Bobby Tiglao for your articles. I hope they will dig deep in their investigations. Surely, Abnoy and several others will rot in jail.

  16. What kind of a country have we become? We have become a godless country, worshiping instead idols such as money, politicians and the powers they wield, material gratification, sex. I call the problem a failure of spiritual leadership. I pray that God Almighty will act and do something to wake up the Filipino people.

  17. It’s a pity that she is being accused of conniving with drug lords in the bilibid and really the evidence coming from the testimonies of the witness seems very credible except for Sebastian who seem to not know Dayan , but probably he and Dayan according to the witnesses has some intimate relation with the former DOJ head. That maybe the reason why Dayan was not being used to get the funds from Sebastian to avoid some sort of rivalry and misgiving among the 2.

  18. that’s hitting the nail right on its head, mr. tiglao… nanalilisik na ang mga ebidensiya laban kay sen. de lima; di na uubra ang kanyang mga ‘blanket denial’ and she should start looking for topnotch lawyers to defend her in court.

  19. Jeric R.Leviste on

    You are an EXCELLENT writer, Secretary R. Tiglao..Thank you for your great insights..

  20. The many witnesses do paint a clear big picture. Delima knew and was in the center of the drug dealings and corruption at the prison. I do find it interesting that almost everyone testified they gave money for her Senate bid. That seems to be building up to the future defense of Delima: She only took campaign contributions and that is not illegal. We need to make sure she becomes one of the convicts.

  21. I am with you Mr Tiglao. It would be unfathomable to comprehend that someone who is supposed to have the Bureau of Corrections as one of the agencies under her jurisdiction wouldn’t have any clue of what we now know is a massive corruption and drug trade despite the fact that all of the witnesses have said that she visited the facility at least a dozen times, although she disputes the number. Add the fact that there were intelligence reports about the situation that triggered the Oplans that ensued, although she decided to exclude the original source of the intelligence reports (the CIDG) from being part of the raiding team, which is questionable, but based on the testimonies you wouldn’t be surprised why that happened, then you could conclude that as testified too the raid was just a moro moro or just a show. That’s because she knew all along that if someone or an agency not under her control would be in it then she will be in a lot of trouble and will be exposed. .

  22. Just wish we have death penalty, delima should be dead fired million times to pay for her sins. It’s impossible that the past president does not have a hand on this…

  23. unfortunately having read several opinions from your newspaper that it is extremely prejudicial when it comes to De Lima and firmly in the court of Duterte.
    This opinion is the authors perception or his interpretation of what unfolded, I to have watched all of the hearings and is obviously a ‘set up’ with a bunch of law breakers under the protection of immunity playing a rehearsed tune in what has essentially been a public trial of the loan voice of the opposition to the killings taking place in the Philippines all under the pretence of an enquiry to make legislation
    Time your presented balanced reporting and opinion pieces

    • The Great Defiant on

      so only credible witness and senator is delima? and all others are set up?
      that is beside the point id-jot, the point is this country has been the central hub for the international drug syndicates. have you roam our streets lately?

    • Hijo, whether there were ekjs or none, that does not erase the truth that millions came out from the innates. Will the inmates give millions to someone who can not guarantee change of place of incarceration? Will they fork out only a few pesos for an election run? Isn’t it logical that the inmates had the confidence to build high end kubols because they knew they gave big time? Surely, they knew everything goes coz they knew they gave a lot to the boss of the Justice department.

  24. de lima is losing credibility just like the catholic priests whom she is picking as sanctuary are now also losing their own

    • You use “sanctuary” as if you do not understand what it means. If you ever need to pray in a chapel and the chapel is open, no one will stop you. It is a sanctuary all right. A place away from the mad mad world. The mad mad world keeps swirling with judgmental people; even sanctuaries are made part of the madness. What kind of people have we become? If you feel the need to talk to one of the priests, you will be most welcome. They are always ready to be of service to you.

    • i have never seen a human look down at his shoes as long as the priest standing behiind Delima gazed. Did he see his own future? Did he question his own ethics? Or the road that broght him to the alter that day? …. DeLima turns to God? If she does not understand, Christ assures us that we are All Powerful, in the Likeness of our Creator, and creator of our own reality. Certainly our thoughts and actions have consequences which we all must face.We suffer from it, but never alone. We drag friends and family, those who love you, along. No one escapes the Hell we create for ourselves. No one. Nor escape the Miricle that is the Love of our Creator and Total Forgiveness. Our Suffering is not the provance of our Loving Father, but our own actions,misguided beliefs, greed and selfishness that no one avoids to some degree in this life. Yet total Forgiveness is available always, no Child of God left adrift in their own errors forever. Salvation comes, AFTER YOU HAVE PAID THE PIPER.

  25. I wonder if Dayan is still alive. Most logical is for deLima to have him killed to silence him forever, after all, she has men lining up to satisfy her, if she still has her billion, este, millions.

    • Leodegardo Pruna on

      Impossible that the kingpin doesn’t know what is happening around him. God bless the Philippines.