MANILA — Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go on Tuesday bared that eight high-profile inmates are involved in illegal drug transactions through the alleged “hospital referral pass for sale” scheme inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
“Most of these illegal drug transactions take place in Medical Ward 3, ng medical annex ng Building 14 and it involves several personalities. About eight of them. Illegal drug trade continues in NBP with the hospital as the new venue for transactions,” Go told reporters in an interview.
It was reported that prison officials and personnel sell hospital passes to inmates who allegedly transact their illegal drug trade inside the NBP hospital.
Go said some inmates were moved into the NBP hospital by faking their illness and buying the so-called “hospital referral pass” from employees of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).
Go said the information came from a high-profile inmate but he refused to divulge the name of his source, as well as the names of the drug convicts involved in illegal transactions.
The senator, however, noted that he has forwarded the information to Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra so that the alleged anomalies in the issuance of hospital passes and illegal drug transactions inside the NBP hospital can be investigated.
Guevarra has already ordered the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to investigate the reported irregularities in the grant of medical furlough to inmates at the NBP.
In a Department Order 479, the NBI was ordered “to conduct investigation and case build-up on the alleged illegal practice of transferring Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDL) to the New Bilibid Prison Hospital for monetary consideration”.
“If evidence warrants [the NBI is directed] to file the appropriate charges against persons found responsible therefor,” the order read.
Meanwhile, Guevara said the agency’s oversight committee over the BuCor will immediately implement the preventive suspension ordered by the Office of the Ombudsman on more than two dozen prison officials, following reports of irregularities in the grant of Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA). (PNA)