Jan 052015

The head of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Virgilio Mendez called his own agency “a failure” after high-profile inmates taken out of the New Bilibid Prison managed to sneak in large sums of money while inside their detention cells at the NBI headquarters in Manila.

“Papaano nakapasok yung pera na ‘yan, ang dami niyang dinaanan. Talagang we are a failure here. The NBI is a failure,” NBI director Virgilio Mendez said in a GMA News’ “24 Oras” report that aired on Monday.

“Siguro because the facility is not ready for this,” he added.

The NBI has confiscated over P700,000 from the inmates during its inspection on Dec. 28 and Dec. 29, 2014.

The agency also found cash inside a trash can at the comfort room. Cash were also found hidden inside an “ampao” and in a pack of cigarette.

The biggest amount seized amounting to about P350,000 was confiscated from Tony Co. A driver’s license with a name Wu Yuantuan, owned by Peter Co, was also confiscated.

A total of P84,000 or 475 Canadian dollars was seized from Peter Co.
Justice Secretary Leila de Lima has already ordered an in-depth investigation. She said investigators are focusing on two theories.

“Baka nakalagay dun sa mga pagkain, nakatago sa mga pagkain na somehow ‘di nila ininspeksyon. Sabi ko nga in the first place bakit pinayagan yung mga pagkain na yun,” De Lima said.

Daily inspections are being done now to check if inmates have sneak in cash or contraband inside the facility.

Those tasked to guard the inmates are being investigated including NBI guards, agents, Special Action Force personnel, and Bureau of Corrections employees

The NBI has implemented stricter measures at the facility and has limited visitors.

“Yung mga dalaw they might be the same people who brought these items inside. In fact, that is one open declaration of the inmates na yung nagbibigay sa kanya was coming from one of the dalaw of a regular detention prisoner,” Mendez said.

High-profile inmates, including drug convicts, were transferred to NBI in December after prohibited and luxury items were found inside their “kubol” or small cottages during a surprise inspection led by De Lima at the New Bilibid Prison. —Kathryn Tubadeza/NB, GMA News

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