Herbert Colanggo, known to be a convicted bank robber gang leader and drug leader, has testified against Senator Leila De Lima on Tuesday, September 20, before the Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
Colanggo disclosed that he has spoken with the senator two years ago, in January 2014, and discussed the goal of collecting millions of pesos from fellow inmates and come up with a fund that will be used by the senatorial campaign.
Colanggo also narrated that the collection started after Jaybee Sebastian, a convicted kidnapper jailed also in NBP, personally approached him and asked for his help about De Lima’s campaign kitty.
The high-profile witness further said that his goal was to collect a total of P3 million per month for De Lima, who was then the secretary of justice.
“May P3 million kaming binibgay kay Secretary De Lima, buwan-buwan… Ikokolekta ko po sa area ko, P100,000, P200,000, may P500,000. So ‘pag umabot ng P3 million… Iyon ang PR payola po,” Colanggo said.
The witness said that he started collecting and giving De Lima money October 2013 through Jonel Sanchez, De Lima’s aide; however, it was only in January the next year that he decided to set up a meeting with De Lima to confirm if he was indeed receiving the funds.
It was when Sanchez handed him his phone and let him dial De Lima’s number. Colanggo said that he was positive that he was speaking with De Lima.
“Iyong boses niya lagi ko siya napapanuod sa TV. Siya talaga iyon. Nabosesan ko siya… 100 percent [sure ako],” said Colanggo.
Their conversation was short and mainly was a sort of confirmation about the P3 million supposed money, wherein De Lima only replied with “Okay, okay. Thank you.”
The witness also clarified why most of the people are calling him Colangco instead of Colanggo. He said that he used that surname Colangco in his music videos that are taken from the NBP. He further explained that he was then often called the latter.
De Lima has denied any involvement in any of the irregularities at the New Bilibid Prison.