Sebastian: Chinese inmates on top of Bilibid drugs trade

Patty Pasion

This is AI generated summarization, which may have errors. For context, always refer to the full article.

Sebastian: Chinese inmates on top of Bilibid drugs trade

LeAnne Jazul

Chinese inmates, who are also drug lords, are protected by gangs. They compete in terms of quality of meth and prices, says high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian

MANILA, Philippines – New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmate Jaybee Sebastian testified on Monday, October 10, that illegal drugs thrived inside the national penitentiary with Chinese inmates running the trade.

“Lumaganap [ang drugs] noong nagkaroon ng competition between Chinese communities – between Peter Co and Ben Marcelo…. Pababaan ng presyo, pagandahan ng quality. Doon po nagkakatalo,” Sebastian told lawmakers during the 4th hearing in the House probe on the drug enterprise inside the NBP.

(Drugs proliferated when there came a competition between Chinese communities – between Peter Co and Ben Marcelo. They pulled prices down, offered quality better than the other. That’s how the competition went.) 

Like Sebastian, Co and Marcelo belong to the group “Bilibid 19” – a group of high-profile inmates who have been moved to the National Bureau of Investigation compound after a raid on the national penitentiary exposed the high life enjoyed by maximum security inmates. 

Sebastian said during an interpellation by Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano that the Chinese drug lords are headed the drug matrix inside the NBP.

“It starts with a Chinese drug lord, who is secured by one gang – sometimes, there are 3 to 10 Chinese inmates in one gang. Then there are gangs which do not have even a single Chinese inmate, so they cross to other gangs,” he told House members in Filipino.

He said that he only serve as a broker, who marks up the price of drugs up to P100,000 to P200,000 per kilo.

“In one season, you could earn as much as P500,000 per kilo,” Sebastian also said in Filipino. (READ: Illegal trade in Bilibid: Up to P100M goes around every day – witness

He claimed that his earnings as broker enabled him to fund several beautification projects inside the NBP, such as a tennis court, visitation area, and 6 dormitories. (READ: Jaybee Sebastian: I gave P14 M to De Lima, aide)

Outside transaction 

Structure of drug trade based on statements by inmate Jaybee Sebastian and Police Deputy Director for Operations Benjamin Magalong

PNP Deputy Chief for Operations Benjamin Magalong, who was Criminal Investigation and Detection Group chief during the 2014 Bilibid raid, detailed how drugs are delivered outside the NBP.

“High-profile inmates manage [drug orders]. If there’s an order, they will tap their external contacts – runners, most of the time to deliver drugs,” he said in Filipino.

“The drugs will be placed inside a car, which will be parked in an area for 3 to 4 hours, sometimes overnight to avoid the authorities. The [runners] will tell them where they hid the keys and the vehicle will be brought for delivery,” he added.

Asked of the personalities behind this transactions, Magalong said high-profile inmates are linked to Chinese and Filipino drug dealers.

Sebastian, meanwhile, said that drugs are also sourced from North Korea. – 

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Patty Pasion

Patty leads the Rappler+ membership program. She used to be a Rappler multimedia reporter who covered politics, labor, and development issues of vulnerable sectors.