Press Release
September 13, 2019


SENATOR Ronald 'Bato' Dela Rosa vent his ire on the medical officers from the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) hospital as he confronted them on the alleged corruption concerning the approval of medical passes and overstaying of inmates, especially for the high-profile Persons Deprived of Liberty (PDLs), for a fee.

During the continuation of the hearing of the Senate Blue Ribbon Committee on the implementation of Republic Act 10592 or the Good Conduct Time Allowance law, Thursday, Dela Rosa directly asked one of NBP hospital's medical officers, Dr. Urcisio Cenas, on his involvement in the granting of medical passes and the issuance of sham medical diagnosis for high-profile inmates for them to enjoy a stay in the NBP Hospital.

Prior to this, there were reports that high-profile PDLs continue to transact and engage in their illegal drug trade while confined at the prison hospital. "Yung ginagawa niyo sa mga drug lord, pinababayaan ninyo na mag-stay dyan [sa NBP hospital] ng ilan buwan, ilan taon. Tanungin ko kayo mag-prangkahan tayo... ano ba? Tumatanggap kayo o takot lang kayo sa mga drug lord na yan?" Dela Rosa asked.

"Magsalita kayo, bakit hindi matapos-tapos yan? Ikaw Dr. Cenas, takot ka ba sa mga drug lord na yan? Bakit nagpapatuloy ang ganyang mga practice?" he further noted.

Dela Rosa also asked the whereabouts of the convicted drug lords to know if they continue to stay at the NBP's medical facility sans any ailment. The medical officer said that most of the high-profile PDLs are presently being held at the prison's maximum security in building number 14.

Former Valencia, Bukidnon Mayor Jose Galario Jr., who was incarcerated inside the NBP following conviction for graft was present during the inquiry. He bared his personal experiences inside the prison compound, particularly in the NBP hospital. He told the panel about continuous illegal drug trade in the NBP hospital involving the high-profile drug lords.

The former chief executive, who was also a retired police officer, was accompanied by his daughter Greizl Fernandez. Fernandez said she gave money to Cenas in several occasions in exchange for the immediate and favorable release of medical abstract of his father. Galario has been staying at the NBP Hospital after undergoing several medical procedures.

In an interview, Dela Rosa said that he personally investigated this issue during his stint as BuCor Chief, since he had suspicions about high profile inmates overstaying in the hospital, and although he was not able to find concrete evidence, he strongly warned the BNP Medical personnel to ensure that they are not allowing any form of corruption in the medical facility. He also ordered inmates from Building 14 who were admitted inside the hospital such as Amin Boratong, the suspect in the Pasig shabu

laboratory bust, and Raymond Dominguez, suspect of the carnapping and killing of VACC President Eusebio Evanglista's son Venson Evangelista, to be returned to Building 14 immediately.

During his term as BuCor Chief for almost six months, Dela Rosa austerely implemented reformative programs to effect change on the 'malevolent routine' inside, as well as to address corruption in the bureau. He closely monitored the activities of the inmates, especially the high profile PDLs who were believed to have continuous engagement in the illegal drugs trade. This claim was supported by DoJ USec Deo Marco, who said in an interview with DZMM that during Dela Rosa's time as BuCor Chief, he made changes that were felt and aimed to correct the system of the Bureau. Second witness Godfrey Gamboa, an inmate in NBP and the common law husband of Yolanda Camilon, also stated during the second hearing that under Dela Rosa's watch, the payments for the entry of contraband inside NBP was stopped.

Dela Rosa had strong words for the BuCor medical officers, "Frankly speaking naaawa ako sayo dahil alam ko na ayaw nyo sabihin, kayo ay gumagawa ng kalokohan dyan, nakisakay kayo sa sistemang bulok di dahil sa pera... ang totoo takot kayo sa mga drug lord na ipapatay kayo. Bakit pa kayo nag-uniporme ng ganyan kung wala kayong bayag makipaglaban sa mga drug lord na yan! Alam ko takot ka... dapat umalis ka na dyan kung takot ka! Dapat may bayag kayong lumaban!".

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