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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.

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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.

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“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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