DOJ wants De Lima to turn over documents on Sebastian

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 30 2016 12:05 AM

The Department of Justice on Thursday urged Senator Leila de Lima to hand over any evidence or document she has on inmate Jaybee Sebastian.

De Lima earlier cited information allegedly from Sebastian's wife, who claimed that her husband was being pressured into testifying against the former justice secretary.

Speaking on ANC's Headstart on Thursday, Justice Undersecretary Reynante Orceo said they do not have the information that De Lima is pertaining to.

"We don’t have that information. Maybe it would be better for Senator De Lima to cooperate and turn over to us whatever information that she has to shed light on what really happened," he said.

"It’s a very delicate situation and it’s really hard to speculate on whether there is a political motive behind it; whether there was really a connection between this stabbing incident and the Congressional inquiry. That’s why we already asked the CIDG (Philippine National Police Criminal Investigation and Detection Group) to handle the situation," he added.

Sebastian was one of the four inmates wounded in a stabbing incident Wednesday morning inside the New Bilibid Prison. Convicted crime lord Tony Co died in the incident.

The Bureau of Corrections said the incident was a "plain riot" and was not orchestrated to kill Sebastian, who was alleged by witnesses at a Congressional probe to have raised funds for De Lima's 2016 senatorial bid.

De Lima has repeatedly claimed that the witnesses were pressured--and some tortured--to testify against her, and she said wouldn't be surprised if the riot was a way of sending a message to inmates who refuse to implicate her in the drug trade.

"Absent any other reliable information, I'm not discounting the fact that this is another way of the government [of] persuading the Bilibid 19 to testify against me and that this incident should serve as a lesson to those who refuse to cooperate with the government and do Aguirre's and Malacanang's bidding," she said.

Orceo said with Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre in Vietnam for a working visit with President Rodrigo Duterte, they were given marching orders to "cooperate with all investigating agencies of government and to put all the evidences and information so that we could arrive at the final and conclusive facts about the case."

He said the CIDG has informed them that with doctors' permission to interview the inmates, "they could finish the investigation this week, the very least is next week."