MANILA - Baguio City Mayor Benjamin Magalong on Saturday confirmed that he is set to appear in the Senate hearing on the good conduct time allowance (GCTA) law controversy next week.
In an interview on DZMM, Magalong said he received a call from Senate Blue Ribbon Committee Chair Sen. Richard Gordon inviting him to the next hearing to share what he knows about illegal activities at the New Bilibid Prison in his capacity as former head of the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).
He said at the time of former Justice Secretary and now Sen. Leila de Lima, he reported how Chinese drug lords held at the state penitentiary still wielded control over the drug trade.
"Gumawa kami ng isang special operations intelligence plan na prinisent kay Secretary [Leila] De Lima. Ni-reveal ko sa kaniya na inspite of the fact na nakakulong 'yang high-profile na Chinese drug personalities they continue to control and manage 'yung drug trade sa Pilipinas," Magalong said.
(We presented to Secretary De Lima a special operations intelligence plan. I revealed to her that inspite of the fact that these high-profile Chinese drug personalities are detained, they continue to control and manage the drug trade in the Philippines.)
Magalong, however, lamented that they were excluded from the raid carried out in 2014.
"Kami 'yung nag-develop ng information, kami rin gumawa ng plano together with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) pero nung aktuwal na raid wala na kami, hindi na kami kasama," he said.
(We were the ones who developed the information, who made the plan together with PDEA but were excluded on the actual raid.)
Magalong said the information they received showed that Bureau of Corrections officials were involved in anomalies.
"Lumabas lahat 'yun sa mga information and kapag nakasama sana kami sa raid may makukuha kaming matitibay na ebidensiya. Unfortunately, hindi nga kami sinama," he said.
(Everything appeared in the information and if we were included in the raid we would have gotten strong evidence. Unfortunately, we were left behind.)
While she led raids at Bilibid where contraband was found and luxury villas of inmates were dismantled, De Lima was accused by several high-profile prisoners that she was involved in the drug trade at the state penitentiary.
She has been detained since February 2017 but has asserted the allegations against her are false and part of political persecution.
Magalong retired in 2016, and was appointed by President Rodrigo Duterte as board member of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Co. in 2018.
Magalong has yet to find out the exact day he will appear before the Senate adding he is still waiting for the notice coming from Gordon’s office.
The Senate is investigating the implementation of the GCTA law following the early release of some 2,000 heinous crime convicts since 2013, when it was expanded to include detention in time served.
President Rodrigo Duterte has ordered the inmates to surrender within 15 days, a period that will lapse on Sept. 19.