MANILA - Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II confirmed Wednesday that high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian has been placed under the custody of the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Sebastian was transferred Tuesday evening from the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa to an unspecified NBI office, Aguirre said, before declining to give further details.
Sebastian's family petitioned the transfer after the high-profile inmate figured in a stabbing incident in the NBP several weeks before he testified against Senator Leila de Lima.
Sebastian also filed graft and criminal charges against De Lima in November over several issues involving the state penitentiary.
Meanwhile, supposed "grave threats" to Sebastian's life will be investigated, and if proven false, Sebastian will be transferred back to the state prison's Building 14.
Aguirre said he tasked Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director-General Benjamin Delos Santos to look into Sebastian's claims.
"Kung hindi naman totoo then I'm going to bring him back to NBP or to his previous cell. Tuloy tuloy lang ito (investigation); the arrangement is very temporary," Aguirre said.
The justice chief said he approved Sebastian's request since there was no objection from Delos Santos.
Aguirre refused to name the inmates whom Sebastian named as those responsible for the alleged threats. "Hindi ko na siguro sasabihin, lalo lang gugulo siguro 'pag sinabi ko mga pangalan."
Asked if these other inmates have any connection with De Lima, whom Sebastian accused before a congressional inquiry of ordering him to organize the inmates into selling huge volumes of methamphetamine hydrochloride ('shabu") to fund her senatorial bid, Aguirre said he wasn't sure but isn't entirely ruling out the possibility.