SEN. LEILA DE LIMA at a Senate hearing on illegal drugs and extra judicial killings.
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan – Former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III who was linked by President Rodrigo Duterte to the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City, has flown to the United States purportedly for medical treatment.
Baraan’s eldest son, Francis Frank Baraan IV, left the country last August, made the disclosure through a post in his Twitter account. He, however, did not disclose where his father is in US.
Earlier, his brother, Rafael Baraan, former provincial administrator of Pangasinan, were cleared by President Duterte in drug operations together with former Pangasinan governor, now Rep. Amado Espino Jr., and provincial board member Roberto Sison.
”My father, former Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III left the country for health and medical reasons, on August 25, 2016, which is many days before the day the House of Representatives began its probe on the alleged drug trade inside the BIlibid, and days before President Dutere himself tagged him in his drug matrix, in one of his press con,” Francis stated in his post.
The younger Baraan said that leaving the country is not a crime – “not if you’re not a fugitive of a law, or a person of interest.”
He noted that his father was unaware that there would be a House of Representatives probe on the proliferation of illegal drugs in the Bilibid and that he would be asked to appear in the ongoing inquiry.
”My Dad, Usec Baraan, no longer wishes to comment on any of the allegations or issues raised against him in public. However, he has asked me to speak on his behalf regarding this particular matter. Rest assured, he isn’t running away from anything or avoiding any possible prosecution,” he said.
”He would face all allegations and issues against him in a real court of law—not in a court of “trial by publicity”—if and when somebody actually files formal complaint against him,” he added.
The former DoJ official was supervising undersecretary of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) during the Aquino administration.
Baraan vehemently denied the allegation raised by Colanggo during the inquiry of the House of Representatives on the proliferation of illegal drugs trade in NBP.
“Colanggo’s claim is a complete nonsense. I challenge him to produce any document that shows I approved any transfer of inmate/s within the Bilibid compound,” he stressed