MANILA, Philippines - Former Batangas Governor Tony Leviste called an area inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) compound a piece of paradise; it's where his hut was built, and beside it is a nursery farm.
While in prison, Leviste was not only able to plant trees, he also made a documentary.
With the help of a former writer and one of his inmates who worked as a TV cameraman, Leviste was also able to produce a documentary called "billion trees".
In the film, Leviste promoted his advocacy to plant more trees in the Philippines.
Leviste, along with his fellow inmates, planted seedlings in a 25-hectare piece of land inside the prison compound.
Speaking before a Department of Justice (DOJ) investigating committee on Monday, Leviste flaunted his activities in jail, claiming that he has the support of the Aquino administration.
Interior Secretary Jesse Robredo admitted the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and Leviste's group have agreed to plant more trees with inmates.
However, Robredo clarified that he did not allow Leviste to come and go as he pleased at the state penitentiary.
Justice Undersecretary Francisco Baraan also said that while Leviste's advocacy is praiseworthy, it doesn't give him the license to break rules at the prison.
Several Filipinos are dismayed over Leviste's unauthorized trips out of jail.
Bayan Patrollers are angry, and they challenge President Aquino to prove that the law will be applied fairly, regardless if one is rich or poor.