2020-10-21
Sex Trade in Prison

Drugs and Flesh Trade inside Philippine Prison

As seen on the October 2019 issue of The Philippine Sentinel

Aside from payoffs for hospital passes and good conduct allowances, there are many other money-making practices by corrupt officers at the National Prison in the Philippines, according to a former official of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Former prison officer Rafael Ragos said other schemes include allowing prisoners to bring in women, run a 24-hour gambling operation and let in contraband such as knives declared as construction materials.

What started as a Senate inquiry following the aborted early release of rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez and the freedom of over 2,000 convicts serving time for heinous crime also unravelled corruption at the national penitentiary.

MANILA, Philippines ━ Aside from payoffs for hospital passes and good conduct allowances, there are many other money-making practices by corrupt officers at the National Prison in the Philippines, according to a former official of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor).

Former prison officer Rafael Ragos said other schemes include allowing prisoners to bring in women, run a 24-hour gambling operation and let in contraband such as knives declared as construction materials.

What started as a Senate inquiry following the aborted early release of rapist-killer Antonio Sanchez and the freedom of over 2,000 convicts serving time for heinous crime also unravelled corruption at the national penitentiary.

While making a speech in Bataan province, President Duterte said everyone involved in prison corruption “will have to go.”

“Even if it was regular or allowed, corruption was there. Setting aside all the legal infirmities, even if it was allowed, corruption was present. And everybody will have to go,” he said at the inauguration of the Bataan business hub.

Ragos testified that kidnapping the girlfriends of high-profile prisoners for ransom of as much as P200,000 was another moneymaker.

The women, called “tilapia” in prison lingo, will cost an inmate P30,000 a night, he said.

Construction projects within the prison compound become opportunities to bring in alcoholic beverages and cigarettes, Ragos said.

Cell phones are sold by BuCor employees to the inmates.

Ragos said a friend, who is a caterer, had to pay P800,000 monthly allegedly to the BuCor director to continue providing catering services. BuCor officials make extra money by granting special requests, such as an extended stay by a female visitor, or holding a party.

Ragos also said he had learned that whenever a new BuCor official takes office, money is collected from inmates to give to this official, whether the official takes it or not. In his case, no money had reached him.

When he summoned drug trade convict Amin Boratong for a meeting to discuss peace and order at the penitentiary, Boratong tried to give him a ring worth P600,000 because he had no cash.

BuCor legal chief Frederic Santos also said that corruption existed as guards developed friendships with the inmates.

An “unholy” alliance would eventually be formed over various favours.

Few inmates were prepared to break the code of silence, and those who “sing” could end up dead in their sleep or hanging in their cell, Santos added.

Santos and prison medical officer, Dr. Ursicio Cenas however, were cited for contempt and detained at the Senate at the instigation of Sen. Ronald dela Rosa for “continuously evading and lying” to the justice committee.

There was an inmate known to have a girlfriend in the hospital, nursing attendant Meryl Benitez, who was alleged as a drug mule.

Another inmate, Jose Galario said Cenas accepted payments from the drug inmates as he and his daughter had paid P1,000 to the doctor to ask for a medical abstract or other documents. Ω

(SOURCE: inq.net)