Senator Francis Tolentino on Tuesday said the Senate hearing into the prisonbreak of Bilibid inmate Michael Cataroja opened a can of worms about the anomalies at the national penitentiary.
Tolentino held a press conference on Tuesday after holding a hearing into Cataroja’s July 7 escape from Bilibid by clinging underneath a garbage truck to escape the maximum security compound.
He said he was able to talk to Cataroja in private after the hearing and was told about the risks to his life since his escape from Bilibid was busted and his rearrest in Angono, Rizal on Aug. 17.
“Nag-secret meeting kami, Cataroja, ako, at Senator Robin Padilla. Nandoon kami sa loob ng van. Isa sa mga nabanggit niya ay kinakabahan siya sa maaaring mangyari sa buhay niya,” Tolentino said.
“Noong kami’y nasa loob ng sasakyan, may agam-agam din siya na delikado ang buhay niya,” he added.
“Notorious” personalities involved in the Bilibid anomalies have been uncovered in the aftermath of the Senate’s investigation into the circumstances of Cataroja’s escape, Tolentino said without elaborating.
“May mga ibang names na lumalabas pero hindi ko pa ma-reveal. May mga pangalang lumalabas na notorious—nakakatakot,” Tolentino said.
The senator is not yet letting go of his suspicions that Bilibid convicts are allowed to get out of the national penitentiary to commit heinous crimes for syndicates outside.
“Noong una di niya ina-admit na pinag-uusapan na ang pagtakas. Noong bandang huli, umamin siya na may pinag-uusapan at meron na raw mga nakatakas,” Tolentino said of the hearing.
“Nabingwit ko siya doon. Noong bandang huli sinabi niya: ‘Pinag-uusapan na rin naming na may tatakas. Mayroon na ring nakatakas.’ Di lang niya alam kung bumalik,” he added.