PSG: Alleged De Lima bagman not forced to sign affidavit

Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 28 2016 06:57 PM

The Presidential Security Group today denied a reported statement of Senator Leila de Lima that his former security aide, Sgt. Jonel Sanchez, has been forced to sign an affidavit.

PSG spokesperson Lt. Col. Michael Aquino said the information relayed to De Lima by her "asset" has no basis and that Sanchez has not signed any affidavit. 

Aquino said Sanchez has already requested a counsel of his own choice.

"Base doon sa nakita namin sa [newspaper] that Sgt. Jonel Sanchez was being forced to sign an affidavit. Nandito kami ngayon para klaruhin ang issue na wala po kaming ginagawang coercion o kaya ginagamitan naming ng pwersa para pilitin po na mag-sign ng affidavit si Sgt. Jonel Sanchez," Aquino said.

[Based on what we saw in the newspaper that Sgt. Jonel Sanchez was being forced to sign an affidavit. We are here to clarify the issue. We are not forcing Sgt. Jonel Sanchez to sign an affidavit.]

"This is to refute her statement about Sgt. Jonel Sanchez, PAF. To date, he has not signed any affidavit to that effect. He has signified to have a counsel preferably of his own choice. But up to now, he has not presented one. Since we fully respect his right to counsel, we have given him enough leverage to produce one. Therefore, the text message sent to Sen. De Lima has no basis," he added.

Aquino said the House committee is inviting Sanchez to its hearing, and that he will be allowed to appear before the House investigation.

Sanchez, who allegedly got the kickbacks from the New Bilibid Prison when he served as driver for De Lima during her stint as justice secretary, has been placed under government custody while undergoing investigation.