MANILA - Convicted drug lord Jaybee Sebastian is suddenly unwilling to testify about the alleged Bilibid narcotics ring being linked to Senator Leila de Lima, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II revealed Monday.
"Ayaw niyang umamin pagdating doon sa illegal drug trade. Ang gusto lang niya anomalies, corruption tungkol doon sa monthly P10 million tungkol sa food supply," Aguirre said at a press conference.
[He does not want to confess when it comes to the illegal drug trade. All he wants to expose are the anomalies, corruption about the monthly P10-million food supply.]
Aguirre insisted there is no need for Sebastian to appear at the House of Representatives' investigation if he refuses to disclose his full knowledge about the proliferation of drugs inside the state penitentiary.
"Kapag hindi rin lang buong katotohanan ang sasabihin, I reject it," he said.
Besides, Aguirre argued that other witnesses -- including convicted crime kingpins and Corrections officials -- have already established how De Lima condoned the illicit drugs that supposedly swamped Bilibid when she was still Justice chief.
"Why did drugs proliferate inside the New Bilibid Prisons? Sa palagay ko, wala nang question doon e because wala kumuwestyon sa trading ng illegal drugs sa loob ng NBP, sa mga kaluwagan na ibinibigay kapag ikaw ay nagdi-deal sa drugs [I think there's no longer any doubt about that because nobody questioned the illegal drug trade inside NBP, the leniency towards those dealing with drugs]," he said.
"I don't know what's the reason pa kung kailangan ipa-subpoena o pa-appear-in si Jaybee Sebastian [I don't kow any reason why Jaybee Sebastian should still be subpoenaed]."
Aguirre, however, warned that Sebastian will be included in the charges they are preparing against De Lima if he remains unwilling to cooperate with the congressional inquiry.
During previous House hearing, several prison gang leaders accused Sebastian of ordering them to raise funds for De Lima's 2016 senatorial campaign by selling drugs.
Aguirre said other prisoners "feared" and obeyed Sebastian as "his words are the law because of his closeness to Secretary De Lima."
The DOJ will turn over the investigation of the allegations to the National Bureau of Investigation. Depending on the pace of their fact-finding efforts, Aguirre said De Lima may be charged with violation of Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act and the Revised Penal Code before the year ends.
De Lima, for her part, has repeatedly shot down the allegations and accused the Duterte administration of fabricating stories against her.