ACTOR Robin Padilla said on Friday he saw shabu (methamphetamine hydrochloride) being prepared inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City where he spent more than three years for illegal possession of firearms.
Interviewed at the ANC’s Headstart program, Padilla also said it was common for prisoners, especially the VIP inmates, to carry guns inside the prison. He said he himself packed a .45 caliber pistol while he was serving time in Bilibid.
“Someone was even packing an Armalite while he was jogging. It’s dangerous if you don’t
carry a gun. When the prison shuts down for the day and the guards are gone, a riot could break out,” Padilla said.
The actor said that when he was sent to Bilibid, the first question asked by a prison guard was what drugs he wanted to take.
When he told the guard that he was into heroin and demerol, the guard said he could get them in a week’s time.
Padilla, known as the “Bad Boy” of Philippine movies, said shabu is being cooked at the maximum facility and everyone there knew it.
He said he was surprised at the big number of visitors inside Bilibid and found out later that the “visitors” were actually shabu buyers.
Padilla said he reported what he saw to then NBP Director Vicente Vinarao who told him to submit a list of people involved.
This started his partnership with Vinarao to clean up the facility, he said.
A number of prison guards were either dismissed or transferred to a prison facility in the Visayas, Padilla said.
The drug lords involved were eventually moved to Building 14, or the former death chamber.
The contraband items and illegal structures recently discovered inside Bilibid is just the tip of the iceberg and there are more alarming activities inside the prison, the head of the Volunteers Against Crime of Corruption (VACC) said Friday.
Dante Jimenez said that aside from the traffic of illegal drugs, Bilibid is also being used by criminal syndicates as a place to stash their loot.
Big robbery and kidnap-for-ransom groups hide their money in the facility with the help of high-profile inmates, Jimenez said.
“Based on the information I received from reliable sources, criminal syndicates are using the Bilibid as their storage place, because compared to banks which can be traced, NBP is a very safe and secured area,” Jimenez said.
The syndicates also use the prison as a cache for their firearms, he said.
Jimenez said he has provided Justice Secretary Leila De Lima with information on the illicit operations inside the prison.
Sen. Joseph Victor Ejercito said he will file a resolution directing the Senate Committee in Public Order and Dangerous Drugs to look into the Bilibid controversy.
Ejercito said the incidents merit serious attention.
“This is a big insult to our country’s justice system, that is why we should not let those responsible get away,” he said.
Ejercito said De Lima must make public the contents of the documents obtained by the team that raided the “luxury” cells in Bilibid to avoid suspicion that they are trying to sanitize the information.
The senator made the call after receiving information that the raiding team was able to obtain a “logbook” containing the names of individuals including politicians that are involved in drug trafficking inside Bilibid.