JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday said controversial inmate Jaybee Nino Sebastian has clammed up on the alleged illegal drugs trade in the New Bilibid Prisons being linked to former Justice Secretary and now Sen. Leila de Lima.
Aguirre said all Sebastian wanted to talk about is the alleged P10 million anomaly on the supply of food for inmates at the national penitentiary.
“Ayaw niyang umamin pagdating doon sa illegal drug trade. Ang gusto lang niya anomalya, corruption tungkol daw doon sa monthly P10 million tungkol sa food supply,” Aguirre said in a press briefing Monday.
But Aguirre said he did not have any direct conversation with Sebastian regarding his testimony.
“May mga tao na nagsabi lang na gusto magsalita ni Jaybee. Tinanong nila ako kung ano ba gagawin dito but I rejected it,” Aguirre said adding that there is no need for Sebastian to appear at the investigation being conducted by the Committee of Justice of the House of Representatives if he refuses to disclose his full knowledge about the proliferation of drugs inside the state penitentiary.
“I don’t know what’s the reason pa kung dapat pa-appearin pa si Jaybee Sebastian. Kapag hindi rin lang buong katotohanan ang sasabihin, I reject it,” the DoJ chief added.
Besides, Aguirre said the witnesses he has already presented to the House’ inquiry including several NBP inmates were able to establish how De Lima when she was still the DoJ chief condoned the proliferation of illegal drugs in the national penitentiary.
“”Sa testimonial evidence lang, napakarami na kaya baka hindi na kailangan ang testimony ni Jaybee Sebastian. I don’t want to present him as a witness if hindi rin siya magsasabi ng buong katotohanan,” he said adding that no one is questioning the proliferation of illegal drugs at the NBP during De Lima’s time.
Should Sebastian be willing to tell all, Aguirre said the DoJ is not closing its doors to granting him immunity like the other inmate witnesses already presented in the investigation, in spite of his participation in the drugs trade.
Bucayu sends feelers
In a related development, Aguirre said former Bureau of Corrections Director Franklin Jesus Bucayu has sent feelers to the DoJ after his name was mentioned by several NBP inmates in the House’ inquiry into the illegal drugs trade inside the NBP.
Aguirre said the feelers were about Bucayu’s possibly testifying in the investigation.
Inmate Herbert Colangco earlier claimed Bucayu received P1.2 million per month in drug payoffs from him.