MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Senator Panfilo Lacson said that at least 4 Chinese nationals convicted of drug charges were released from the New Bilibid Prison last June.
In a media interview, Lacson told reporters that he acquired a list of convicts released by the Bureau of Corrections.
"Right now I have a copy of some releases, names of releases. At least 4 of those released last August 16 are Chinese drug lords. They were released to the custody of the BI (Bureau of Immigration) for possible deportation. But these are convicted Chinese drug lords that have already been released," Lacson said.
He said that the 4 released were: Chan Chit Yue, Kin San Ho, Ching Che, and Wu Hing Sum. They were from the from the maximum security compound, Lacson said.
Another one drug lord, Ho Wai Pang, will be transferred to Bureau of Immigration for deportation.
Lacson did not say if the release of the Chinese drug lords was also related to the controversial Good Conduct Time Allowance law.
Melvin Mabulac, BI deputy spokesperson, confirmed the 4 Chinese drug lords were released from Bilibid. They are now currently detained at the BI's warden's facility.
"Summary Deportation Order was signed and approved by the Board of Commissioners on August 23, 2019 and implementation of the same will be as soon as possible, as soon relevant documents are complied eg. NBI Clearance," Mabulac said.
The Bureau of Immigration said it exercised its function to "deport foreign nationals who completed the service of sentence in Philippine prison."
The former police chief said that they acquired this list as they were looking for the reportedly issued release order of rape-slay convict Antonio Sanchez. Bureau of Corrections chief Nicanor Faeldon denied issuing such orders.
If the government did not change its tune on his reduced prison time, his family claimed that he should have been out by August 20 due to alleged good conduct.
"If we take the word of the members of the family, there was a release order issued as of August 20. Sabi nila nakapag-fingerprint na si Mayor Sanchez. And by his own admission, sinabi ni Director Faeldon na 11,000 ang naka-lineup na ire-release," Lacson said.
(If we take the word of the members of the family, there was a release order issued as of August 20. They said that Mayor Sanchez has already given his fingerprints. And by his own admission, Director Nicanor Faeldon said that 11,000 inmates are already lined up for release.)
In a tweet on Wednesday, August 28, Lacson speculated: "From smuggled goods to release of convicts. Has the Bureau of Customs' 'tara system' migrated to the Bureau of Corrections?"
Lacson on Thursday said that it's not impossible to think that there might be money involved with the early release of inmates by the thousands.
"When we talk of 11,000 convicts to be released at P10,000 each or P5,000 each, you can just imagine the huge amount of money involved. I’m not saying it happened," he said.
"But sabi ko nga, pwedeng isipin. Kasi bakit in bulk ganoon karami?" he added. (But as I said, we can think of that way. Because why do they have to release them in bulk)
Senate President Vicente Sotto III and Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon filed resolutions seeking for a probe into the computation of the GCTA law.
Senator Richard Gordon also filed a bill seeking for the amendment of the law. – Rappler.com