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De Lima linked to threats on high-profile inmate

THE Department of Justice is investigating reports that the camp of Senator Leila de Lima is behind the threats on the life of high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian, an official said Sunday.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the Bureau of Corrections, an attached agency of the department, was trying to find out the source of the threats that resulted in Sebastian’s transfer from the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa City to the National Bureau of Investigation headquarters in Manila City last week.

“Based on initial information, the threats appear to have something to do with De Lima,” Aguirre said but did not give details.

Senator Leila de Lima
“Perhaps it’s better not to name names yet because it might aggravate the situation, but we already have names,” Aguirre said.

Sebastian was stabbed inside Building 14 during an alleged riot on Sept. 28 when he was stabbed in the chest, back and arm when he was set to testify against De Lima in the House of Representatives, which was probing the alleged illegal drug trade in the NBP when she was Justice secretary.

“Jaybee considers other inmates there at Building 14 as his enemies. His cell is only separated by grills from them,” Aguirre said.

He said Sebastian’s wife and lawyers had been requesting his transfer to another facility because of his regular asthma attacks in the NBP.

Sebastian was transferred to the NBI on Dec. 27 from his cell in Building 14 of the maximum security compound in NBP, where he reportedly received grave threats.

An inmate in the NBP testified in the House on Oct. 10 and said De Lima had been involved in the illegal drug trade in the NBP.

Sebastian has claimed he gave P14 million from the illegal drug trade inside the national penitentiary to De Lima’s alleged representative―her former aide Joenel Sanchez and former Bureau of Corrections director Franklin Bucayu―during her tenure as Justice secretary. 

Several other inmates corroborated his testimony and said they sold drugs through their contacts outside the prison to raise funds for De Lima’s senatorial campaign.

Topics: Department of Justice , Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II , Bureau of Corrections , Senator Leila de Lima , high-profile inmate , Jaybee Sebastian
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