• Inmate claimed illegal activities flourished in Bilibid when De Lima was still Justice Secretary
  • He said Bilibid was called “Little Las Vegas” because of the number of celebrities who performed there
  • He also said 80 percent of inmates had cell phones which was used for the illegal drug trade

MANILA, Philippines – It was called “Little Las Vegas” during her time.

At the onset of the House hearing on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP), one inmate claimed the facility’s maximum security compound was nicknamed after the United States’ famous resort city due to the number of celebrities who held concerts there.

“During the tenure of then-secretary (Leila) de Lima, ang maximum security compound ay tinaguriang ‘Little Las Vegas’ and at the same time, ‘Wild (Wild) West,”’ he told current Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III upon questioning.

Magleo, a former police officer who was convicted of kidnapping in 2004, then told Aguirre why the compound was called as such.

“It was called ‘Little Las Vegas’ dahil maraming concerts na nangyayari and it was not ordinary concerts. Concert ito ng mga celebrities, mga famous celebrities katulad nila Freddie Aguilar, Sharon Cuneta. The Mocha Girls performed, Ethel Booba. I cannot recall the name of the dancers anymore, and several comedienne, celebrities,” ABS-CBN quoted him as saying.

Magleo also claimed that Bilibid became the country’s drug center trading outpost because 80 percent of the inmates possessed cell phones and other gadgets which enabled them to continue their illegal activities.

According to him, convicted Chinese drug lords such as Peter Co, Ben Marcelo, Jackson Li, Yong Yin and Alex Chen regularly collaborated with their Filipino counterparts to sell drugs outside Bilibid.

“Itong mga Pinoy players, they have their players outside, mga agents sa labas, covering Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. Through cellphone magkocontactan sila. Iyung tao ng foreign national drug lord, siya ang magbibigay ng droga sa tao ng Pilipino at magmi-meet sila sa labas,” he said.

[These Filipino players, they have their players outside. They have agents covering Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao. They contact each other through cellphones. The agents of the foreign national drug lords will be the one to give the illegal drugs to the agents of the Filipino players.]

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