A SURPRISE inspection conducted yesterday by the Bureau of Correction (BuCor) at the Correctional Institute for Women (CIW) in Mandaluyong City yielded sizeable cash in the possession of two inmates, one of whom was convicted drug queen Yu Yuk Lai.
BuCor personnel confiscated P90,000 from Yu Yuk Lai, while P150,000 was recovered from another Chinese inmate.
Corrections spokesman Gabriel Chaclag said the “Oplan Galugad” operation was conducted at past 8 a.m. at the CIW, where 3,300 female inmates, including alleged pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles, are detained.
Chaclag said BuCor Director General Gerald Bantag was also at the CIW at the time to preside over the assumption of new jail superintendent Supt.Virgie Mangawid, who took over the post from acting superintendent Angie Bautista.
“We are still looking kung para saan itong pera (We are still checking where the money will be used) because under our rules, inmates are only allowed P2, 000 on hand inside the cell for their personal expenses,” Chaclag said in a telephone interview.
He said Yu Yuk Lai will need to explain why she was keeping a huge amount of money inside her cell.
Yu Yuk Lai, in a television interview inside the jail facility, denied that the money came from illegal drugs, and said the cash was intended for her fellow inmates who needed financial assistance.
Chaclag said the CIW management is investigating how the cash were sneaked in to the two female convicts.
He said they are likewise checking if the money came from earnings of the cooperative organized by the correctional inmates.
The Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, back in 2017, has said that Yu Yuk Lai continue to be involved in the illegal drugs trade even while detained at the CIW.
Aside from the cash, also recovered during the surprise inspection were several plastic sachets containing white crystalline substance, solar battery, game gadgets and pieces of jewelry.