WHETHER or not high profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian will show up at the October 5 House probe into the illegal drug trade at the national penitentiary is still not clear but a high profile drug suspect, Marine Col. Ferdinand Marcelino is willing to tell all before solons.
He told a PTV 4 forum on the Bilibid drug trade Saturday night that he could give Congress and the Department of Justice the information that would provide the “missing dots in the puzzle” of the reported New Bilibid Prisons drug trade that has been linked to Sen. Leila M. de Lima.
Marcelino, who is aided by lawyers of the Public Attorney’s Office headed by Dr. Chief Public Attorney Persida V. Rueda Acosta, revealed that he has executed a six-page affidavit containing what he knew about the NBP drug trade, now the object of a Justice Committee probe in the House of Representatives.
“I was not forced, I was not coerced or threatened to offer myself to testify against Sen. De Lima,” Marcelino said.
“This is my own initiative because I really consider that I owe it to the next generation. I think I owe it to my family to come out with the truth about this,” Marcelino said.
Marcelino’s affidavit has already reached the desk of Justice Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II.
He also lamented that he was framed up which caused his incarceration even as he is thankful that the Duterte administration is serious in its war against drugs in the country.
The DoJ chief personally supervised the probe into De Lima’s alleged involvement in the drug trade at the NBP in Muntinlupa City. Aguirre has previously indicated that the Bilibid drug trade may have involved government officials “above” Lima
Marcelino also disclosed that he had sent to the Senate a letter detailing the drug trafficking operations in the country.
Marcelino claimed his information on the NBP drug deals confirm the testimonies of witnesses who have already been presented in the on-going House hearings.
Most of the witnesses have implicated De Lima, her driver, Ronnie Dayan, and convicted kidnapper Jaybee Sebastian to the drug trafficking operations run by NBP inmates.
Acosta said that Aguirre has strong evidence in the Bilibid drug case.
Atty. Eduardo Arriba said Sebastian refuses to testify at the House probe into the alleged Bilibid drug trade for fear of his life.
Arriba said Sebastian prefers to personally tell President Rodrigo Duterte all about the irregularities inside the national penitentiary but the President has refused to see him.
But House Committee on Justice chair Reynaldo Umali said it is not up to Sebastian to decide.
“Well, that is not his choice. We have the coercive powers in Congress to make him speak,” Umali told CNN Philippines Thursday, a day after Sebastian was injured in a stabbing incident at the Bilibid.
Both Houses of Congress can issue subpoenas to compel witnesses to attend hearings.
An individual can be cited for contempt upon refusal to obey summons without a legal excuse, according to the House of Representatives' rules. The rules also say the House should respect the witnesses' right against self-incrimination.
Although the House has summoned Sebastian, Umali said he might not make it to the next hearing set on October 5.
Umali noted that Sebastian got stabbed and is recuperating which makes his appearance at the House hearing uncertain.
He however added Sebastian's testimony is crucial because several witnesses have accused him of being "in the center" of the purported drug trade.
The House panel will also resolve the issue of showing the three purported sex videos of De Lima at the congressional hearings.
Gabriela party-list Rep. Emmi de Jesus and Kabataan party-list Rep. Sarah Elago said they did not share the view of House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez who is in favor of showing the intimate videos before the House probe.
De Jesus agreed with De Lima that the playing of the supposed videos at any congressional inquiry is “violative of the rights of any person in any forum whether legal, inter-personal, social, professional, or political.”
4 NBP INMATES IN RIOT BROUGHT TO CIDG HEADQUARTERS
Four of the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) inmates involved in last Wednesday’s stabbings that killed high-profile prisoner Tony Co were brought yesterday to the Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group headquarters in Camp Crame for further questioning.
Dismissed police officer Clarence Dongail, Tomas Doniña, Edgar Sinco and Ruben Tiu were escorted by heavily-armed PNP Special Action Force commandos to the CIDG headquarters to be questioned on what really triggered the knife attacks that also wounded four others.
On orders of PNP chief Director General Ronald “Bato” M. dela Rosa, PNP-CIDG director, Chief Superintendent Roel B. Obusan last Wednesday fielded a team of CIDG-MCIU probers to coordinate their investigation into the incident with the Bureau of Corrections headed by retired PNP General Rolando Asuncion.