MANILA - Sen. Ronald "Bato" dela Rosa has denied receiving money from inmates at the national penitentiary during his stint as Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chief last year.
Dela Rosa made the statement after former BuCor officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos on Thursday said high-profile inmates have made it their tradition to pool in money to be given to a newly appointed BuCor chief.
"Klaruhin ko 'yung sinasabi na pagpasok ng bagong director may pasalubong... never 'yan nangyari sa aking panahon. Kahit na pugutan niyo ako ng leeg, hindi 'yan nangyari," Dela Rosa said in a radio interview Friday, his office said Sunday.
"Wala pong ganun… ang tapang naman nila kung mag-offer sila sa akin ng ganun [pasalubong, pabaon]. Ang ahensya na 'yan napabayaan ng gobyerno, pati ang aking pang-gasolina ako pa mismo nagbabayad."
Dela Rosa added that the practice of allowing female entertainers worth P30,000 a night to enter the prison was not permitted during his time at the BuCor.
The senator, who served as BuCor chief from April to October 2018, said only declared partners of the inmates were allowed for a visit.
“Wala nga po 'yan, panahon pa noong nakalipas na pamunuan ang ‘tilapia’ na 'yan. Pagdating namin, particularly during my time, ang bawat preso if they are behaving properly, meron silang isang araw sa isang buwan na puwedeng magka-conjugal visit 'yung misis," he said.
Dela Rosa earlier dared his critics to shoot him if they could prove that he was corrupt as a BuCor chief.
The Senate is investigating the GCTA policy after the irregular release of heinous crime convicts. Witnesses have also surfaced alleging that BuCor officials were selling good conduct credits and hospital passes to inmates who are not ill but want to leave prison.