Robin Padilla believes VIP treatment in Bilibid won’t stop until the concept of ‘utang na loob’ is eradicated.
Robin Padilla wasn’t the least bit shocked when news of the VIP treatment in New Bilibid Prison (NBP)
broke out. He even brushed it off during an interview at the recently-concluded gala premiere of his Metro Manila Film Festival
entry Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo.
“Lumang isyu na po ‘yun eh. Ginawa ko pang pelikula ‘yan. Paglabas na paglabas ko ng kulungan, pagkatapos ng dalawang pelikula, ang ginawa ko nun, ang Hari ng Selda,” he said referring to his 2002 film.
Lately certain “villas” at the NBP were raided by the Department of Justice after news of drug cartel operations supposedly happening inside the prison surfaced. The raid resulted to the discovery of the lavish accommodations of some high-profile inmates which included a Jacuzzi, a sports club, and even a strip club.
What’s rather disappointing according to Robin is that, “Nalinis na namin ‘yan nung araw. Nung panahon namin ni Director General Vicente Vinarao, hinarap na namin ‘yan at nalinis na namin ang drug problem sa loob. Ang aking ikinagagalit, yung drug problem, dahil naayos ko na ‘yun. Nawala na ‘yan sa Bilibid, bumalik pa ‘yun, dun ako pikon na pikon.”
Robin spent two years in NBP in 1995 after being detained for illegal possession of firearms. Despite being a high-profile celebrity at that time, Robin stressed that he never received any special treatment while inside the penal compound. “Kahit isang bilanggo, kahit isang guwardiya, walang magsasabi na ako ay tumanggap ng VIP treatment sa loob. Ako’y nakikisama. Ako po ay hindi naging kaaway ng mga bilanggo,” he said.
While many would see such VIP treatment as special privileges that do nothing but corrupt NBP’s system, Robin shared that such wasn’t the case. He even cited the case of former Zamboanga Reperesentative Romeo Jalosjos. “Hindi ko po kilala ‘yan, hindi kami nagkasama niyan, pero alam ko lahat ng ginawa niyan sa Bilibid. Inalagaan niya yung mga matatanda, binigyan niya ng palengke yung mga bilanggo. Nagtayo siya ng palengke para sa kanila at tinuruan niya ng negosyo yun. Para sa akin, hindi masama ‘yun. Pero ‘yung Jacuzzi, pambihira naman, saka club eh malabo ‘yan,” Robin reiterated.
The root of the NBP problem according to Robin is the fact that “Ang sistema dito sa Pilipinas talaga, bulok!
“Pagkabago ‘yung Presidente, pinapalitan ‘yung magaling na tao. Si General [Vinarao] kasi magaling ‘yun. Alam na niya kung ano yung Bilibid eh. Ang nangyari, magpapalit ng Presidente, papalitan ng bagong director. Ang bagong director, hindi naman niya alam ang kalakaran. Sana mapalitan ang sistemang iyon,” he lamented.
As the expose drew many critics, Robin fears that it would strengthen the clamor for NBP’s privatization because, “Ang nakakatakot diyan kasi, baka dun mapunta eh, lahat tayo dismayado. Mapunta ito sa usaping, ‘Hindi, ibenta na lang natin yun.’ Eh, saan natin ililipat yung mga bilanggo? Kawawa naman.”
But other than this, he also stressed that the upcoming 2016 national elections would pose a threat should the DOJ be able to successfully raid and “clean up” NBP.
Why? Because, Robin says when President Noynoy Aquino steps down, the NBP director would once again be replaced and “Wala pong katapusan ‘yan. Dapat magkaroon na talaga tayo ng hindi co-terminus.
“Para sa akin kasi, tigilan na yung utang na loob! Ganyan dito sa Pilipinas, uso yun eh. Basta may maipuwesto ka lang, mabigyan, dahil may utang na loob ka, aalisin natin yung magaling,” he ended.