MANILA – The man who tried to stab dead high-profile Bilibid inmate Jaybee Sebastian claimed he acted on orders of Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Leila de Lima, according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.
Aguirre said Tomas Doniña, in his affidavit, said that a Navy officer instructed him to attack Sebastian, who was slated to appear before a congressional hearing in October.
“Ang tinuturo nila is parang ang kumuha sa kanila is an official of the Philippine Navy. Nabanggit doon si Trillanes and De Lima,” Aguirre said in a news conference.
Sebastian and two other inmates, Peter Co and Vicente Sy, were wounded during the stabbing incident at the Building 14 of the New Bilibid Prison, while convict Tony Co was killed.
Aguirre admitted that while Doniña mentioned the names of Trillanes and De Lima in his affidavit, his testimony was not enough to pin down the two senators as his claim can be considered hearsay.
The justice secretary also noted that even the Navy officer was not identified.
“Nasa affidavit ng sumaksak ata. He was told through a Navy officer. Iyung Navy officer ang nag-utos sa kanya. Na-mention doon ang participation nina Trillanes and De Lima,” Aguirre said.
“Kahit minention nila ang dalawang senador, si Senators Trillanes at De Lima, wala namang ibang kuwan, so they were not included (in the charges).”
De Lima has already denied that she ordered the killing of the inmates to prevent them from testifying against her. She believes the inmates’ lives were threatened so that they would testify against her.
Following the stabbing incident, Sebastian and other inmates appeared at a congressional inquiry and claimed that De Lima, as justice secretary, received drug payoffs from the inmates to fund her 2016 senatorial bid.
Trillanes, for hist part, called Aguirre’s latest statement as “totally absurd.”
“I categorically deny any involvement in the stabbing incident of Jaybee Sebastian. Why would I even do that? It is totally absurd,” Trillanes said in a statement.
“Anyway, Aguirre and his gang better get their stories straight because we will have a full blown Senate inquiry to get the truth out,” he added.
In Senate Resolution 174, Trillanes and De Lima sought an inquiry into the "apparent mismanagement and/or incompetence" of the Bureau of Corrections and Philippine National Police that allegedly caused the stabbing incident at the state penitentiary.