Press Release
July 6, 2023

Tolentino's panel probes VIP treatment of detained drug suspect under NBI custody

MANILA - The Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights conducted an inquiry into the alleged 'VIP treatment' given to a high-profile drug detainee who is currently under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

Senator Francis 'TOL' N. Tolentino, the panel chair, on Wednesday spearheaded a 'motu propio' investigation in connection with the supposed unauthorized activities of drug suspect Jad Dera outside the NBI Custodial Center in Manila.

Dera and six members of the NBI security personnel, who served as the former's jail guards, were arrested inside the NBI Compound last June 21 after it was found out by higher authorities that the said drug suspect was able to leave his detention cell in Ermita, Manila for about four hours just to eat in a hotel together with his partner.

"Gusto natin malaman dito, Director, kung papaano po ito nangyayari--na kahit walang court order, kahit walang justification, kahit walang dahilan, medical man o hindi--ay nakakapunta ng Tagaytay, Calatagan sa Batangas, at maging sa high-class restaurants dito sa Metro Manila ang isang high-profile detainee," Tolentino asked NBI Director Medardo De Lemos.

"Paano nakakalabas ang isang high-profile detainee sa piitan ng National Bureau of Investigation kahit walang order ang husgado?" the senator added.

Initial investigation from the Department of Justice (DOJ) disclosed that Dera allegedly bribed those NBI personnel assigned at the bureau's Security Division for them to allow him temporary leave from the agency's detention facility. The six jail guards reportedly even joined the detained drug suspect during his supposed dinner inside an undisclosed hotel establishment in Makati City.

It was also revealed that the incident was not the first time that the arrested NBI personnel allowed and escorted Dera outside the premises of the NBI since the drug suspect reportedly even went to Tagaytay City, a day before he and the assigned jail guards were caught.

During Wednesday's inquiry, Dera who was subpoenaed by Tolentino's panel, admitted to members of the committee that he indeed was able to get outside the premises of the NBI in Manila for at least four instances without any proper authorization.

Five of the arrested jail guards told the Senate panel that they were just following orders from their immediate supervisor Randy Godoy, whom they alleged was also the person calling the shots every time Dera had a trip outside of the NBI compound.

Godoy, meanwhile, suggested that he was merely following orders from NBI Security Division Chief Adrian Feudo.

Feudo refused to answer the allegations, saying he has yet to consult a lawyer of his choice.

The DOJ had transferred Feudo into another area of assignment, pending internal investigation, while multiple criminal charges, including violation of Article 212 of the Revised Penal Code and the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act were filed against Dera and the six jail guards.

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