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Of ’tilapia’ and women: More money-making schemes inside Bilibid exposed

Of 'tilapia' and women: More money-making schemes inside Bilibid exposed

Former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos speaks before the Senate panel regarding rackets inside the New Bilibid Prisons. INQUIRER.net photo / CATHY MIRANDA

MANILA, Philippines—Former and current officials of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) exposed during a Senate hearing on Thursday the alleged “money-making” schemes inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Among those who narrated the alleged corruption in Bilibid was former BuCor  officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos.


Ragos was among those who testified against Senator Leila de Lima, who has been detained over drug charges.

“Sa loob ng maximum, maraming unusal transactions regarding money-making. For example, yung ’tilapia,’ nakakapagpasok sila dyan,” he said during the hearing of the Senate committee of justice, responding to Senator Panfilo Lacson’s queries.

“Tilapia,” Ragos said, is a code name for a woman. He was referring to women spending nights inside Bilibid for a fee.

Ragos said high-profile inmates are paying P30,000 for every “tilapia” for an overnight stay inside the Bilibid.

“Nagpapasok ng babae, yun ang ginagamit nung high profile. Nag-eenjoy sila dun sa mga babae,” Ragos said.

Some of these women, he said, later become either a girlfriend or a wife of these high-profile inmates.

And these women of high-profile inmates would also end up victims of kidnapping allegedly orchestrated by their fellow inmates and their police-friends outside the Bilibid.

And this kidnapping becomes the second money-making scheme in the Bilibid.

Ragos explained that the inmates’ girlfriends or wives would be abducted once they stepped outside the Bilibid.


“Ang alam ko ang mga involved may mga pulis pa na ka-batch nung mga nakalulong na dating pulis o kaibigan nila, then kini-kidnap yun,” he said.

“Ang negotiation nasa loob for release,” Ragos said.

He said the victims would be eventually freed after paying ransom amounting to P200,000 or more. /jpv


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