Fearing the “Duterte effect,” 16 of the high-profile inmates tagged as VIPs of the New Bilibid Prison have expressed concern over being linked to the alleged assassination plot against President-elect Rodrigo Duterte.
In a letter addressed to outgoing Justice Secretary Emmanuel Caparas coursed through lawyer Ferdinand Topacio, the detainees denied any involvement in the plot, the Inquirer reported.
“We are not involved in this plot, if it is really true. We are afraid that this might be a way of ‘public conditioning’ so that we will be eventually silenced and the corruption that happened here inside NBP in the previous administration will be concealed,” it read.
Topacio also told GMA News that his clients were unjustly referred to as VIPs of the infamous national prison complex. “The said inmates wish to stress that they are neither crime lords nor drug lords but were merely labeled as such, or at times ‘high profile’ unceremoniously by the previous leadership of this Department.”
Dela Rosa claimed that around 20 crime lords have contributed P50 million each to the pot after there were zero takers of their initial offers of P10 and P50 million.
Duterte, for his part, shrugged off the alleged plot, saying that if it was his time then he would gladly accept his fate.
Numerous cases of drug suspects finished off in questionable circumstances have recently piled up due to the so-called "Duterte effect" even before Davao City’s strongman assumes the presidency.