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Drug lords in the country wielded an influence so strong in the country that one of them—even when already in prison—had the capacity to threaten a justice of the Supreme Court, senators said in an inquiry on the killings of drug personalities on Tuesday.

Senator Richard Gordon lamented how drug lords in the country, despite their imprisonment, continued to wield a power so strong, they manage to get members of the judiciary killed.

He added that threats from such drug lords have even reached the high tribunal.

“Hanggang sa justice ng Supreme Court, tinakot ng isang drug lord na nakita pa sa diyaryo na kasama sa nilipat,” Gordon said.
“Tinakot [ang SC justice]. Nilabas at nilipat siya. Kasama doon sa NBI, pero wala pa rin tayo magawa,” he added.

Gordon did not identify the drug lord but described him as quite wealthy.
“May pera siyang nagagamit para matakot ang huwes,” Gordon said.

The lawmaker likewise did not identify the SC justice who was threatened.

Gordon was referring to the group of high-profile inmates from the national penitentiary, tagged as the “Bilibid 19,” that had to be taken out of Bilibid and transferred to the National bureau of Investigation headquarters in Manila after contrabands were seized from them.

Senator Leila de Lima, the chairperson of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, confirmed Gordon’s revelation.

De Lima was the secretary of justice when the BIlibid 19 was transferred to the NBI.

“Iko-confirm ko lang po ung information kanina na miski nga isang justice ng sc ay binantaan ng isang drug lord at ang drug lord na iyan ay isa sa Bilibid 19 na nilipat after the December (2015) raid,” De Lima said.

Later in the hearing, Gordon, still without naming names, said a drug lord was also able to get out of the NBP in April and May 2012 and visit the Asian Medical Center due to asthma.

“So nakakalabas po talaga [ang mga nasa Bilibid],” said Gordon.

Meanwhile, Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa, who earlier presented their anti-drug campaign report, told the Senate that Bilibid inmates no longer have access to communication devices, prompting De Lima to commend the PNP chief.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, however, made a suggestion: “Kung ako iyan, magpapasok ako ng dalawang cellphones doon at imo-monitor ko.”

De Lima, meanwhile, told Dela Rosa that they would “test” if the Bilibid inmates’ communication lines have really been cut off.

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