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FACT CHECK: Inmate Jad Dera not arrested at Manila Hotel


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FACT CHECK: Inmate Jad Dera not arrested at Manila Hotel
Dera, a co-accused of former senator Leila de Lima, was arrested inside the National Bureau of Investigation compound, according to the justice department

Claim: Jose Adrian “Jad” Dera, who is among the co-accused of detained former senator Leila de Lima in her remaining drug case, was arrested at the Manila Hotel carrying P25 million cash after his alleged escape from detention. 

Rating: FALSE

Why we fact checked this: The claim was made in a Facebook video posted on June 21, which has 1.6 million views, 40,000 reactions, 7,700 shares, and 5,200 comments as of writing.

In the video, the narrator says: “Nahuli po ng mga NBI agent ang isang inmate, isang inmate po ang nahuli, nahuli ito sa Manila Hotel. Imagine-in ninyo, inmate nahuli sa Manila Hotel? At meron itong dalang P25 million. Napakalaking halaga po! P25 million tapos inmate ka? At ang nakakapagtaka rito, escorted din siya ng mga NBI agent din na tinatawag na NBI scalawags.”

(NBI agents arrested an inmate, an inmate was arrested in Manila Hotel. Imagine that, an inmate arrested in Manila Hotel? And he carried P25 million with him. A huge amount! P25 million carried by an inmate? And the confusing part here is that he was escorted by NBI agents who are called NBI scalawags.)

The video’s caption and thumbnail also claim that Dera is De Lima’s nephew, and that he is the supposed “bagman” of Negros Oriental Representative Arnolfo “Arnie” Teves, the alleged mastermind behind the killing of Negros Oriental Governor Roel Degamo.

The facts: Dera was arrested inside the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) compound, not at the Manila Hotel. In a press briefing, Department of Justice spokesperson Assistant Secretary Mico Clavano confirmed that Dera was arrested upon his return to the NBI compound around midnight of June 21.

Clavano said: “I can confirm the statement only as to the part na si Jad Dera ay lumabas sa detention center kasama ang mga NBI. They are not agents eh, but they are security officers: one plantilla position and five job orders. Totoo po na nahuli si Jad Dera noong pumasok siya ng mga 12 midnight last night. Nandoon na po iyong iba’t ibang NBI agents, at nahuli si Jad Dera na nakasakay sa NBI van.”

(I can confirm the statement only as to the part that Jad Dera went out of the detention center with NBI security officers. They are not agents: one plantilla [position] and five job order [hires]. It is true that Jad Dera was arrested when he entered [the compound] at around 12 midnight last night. There were NBI agents awaiting him, and he was arrested onboard an NBI van.)

The DOJ spokesperson said that Dera escaped “with the connivance of the NBI officers who were with him – security officers and five job [order hires] of the security division.” Dera’s lawyer, however, claimed that his client left his detention facility to look for a doctor because he felt ill.

Clavano confirmed the confiscation of “firearms, cash, and other contraband” upon Dera’s arrest, but said there was no information yet on the amount of cash nor number of firearms seized. Neither was there anything solid, too, about the “bagman” allegations.

Denied connection: The DOJ identified Dera as De Lima’s nephew in 2016, at the height of the drug allegations against the former senator. Both Dera and De Lima have denied being related to each other. Dera’s camp claimed he was an asset of the police against the illegal drug trade inside Bilibid. – Ailla Dela Cruz/Rappler.com

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