- Senator Leila De Lima admits inmate Jaybee Sebastian is an asset working for the government
- The embattled lawmaker said she has to make the revelation to dispel insinuations that Sebastian received drug money in her behalf
- De Lima added she would have no problem with Sebastian testifying at the Lower House hearing
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila De Lima has offered an explanation why convicted inmate Jaybee Sebastian received special treatment at the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her term as the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ).
De Lima admitted that the reason why Sebastian, who is convicted of carnapping, was ‘favored’ and ‘protected’ is because he was an asset working for the government.
“The reason why I’m saying he’s an asset is to dispel ‘yung mga maling haka-haka, insinuations that the reason why hindi muna siya sinama sa Bilibid 19 is because (he’s) favored, protektado and lalo na ‘yung insinuations na ‘yan siya kumolekta ng pera para sa akin,” De Lima told reporters on Thursday, September 22.
[The reason why I’m saying he’s an asset is to dispel rumors, insinuations that the reason why he was not included with the Bilbid 19 is because he’s favored, protected, especially on the insinuations that he collected money in my behalf.]
The embattled senator further said most of the information they got on the alleged illegal trade in Bilibid came from Sebastian.
Sebastian is the leader of a notorious gang and is considered a staunch rival of Herbert Colanggo; another convicted inmate and alleged drug lord who recently testified against De Lima at the Lower House hearing this week.
On the possibility that Sebastian may also appear at the hearing to testify against her, De Lima said she would have no problem with that since it is a very likely scenario which would give the convicted carnapper an opportunity to address his being an alleged government asset.
“Let him address that. If he wants to testify, let him address that,” said De Lima. “But para lang to dispel that insinuation na kaya ganun, kaya hindi kaagad trinansfer is because kakuntsaba namin noon.”
[If only to dispel the insinuation that he was not immediately transferred with the Bilibid 19 is because he was our accomplice.]
At Wednesday’s hearing, witness Jaime Patcho claimed to have seen De Lima go to Sebastian’s cell or ‘kubol’ at the Bilibid at least on two occasions.
Patcho is the same witness who testified he was ordered by Sebastian to sell 10 kilos of shabu and asked to deposit the proceeds to a Banco de Oro account which he forgot to take note of.