MANILA - High-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian was stabbed inside the New Bilibid Prison two months ago to prevent him from testifying against Senator Leila de Lima, police investigators said Tuesday.
P/Supt. Francisco Ebreo of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) said Sebastian's assailant, Tomas Doniña, submitted a sworn statement that his former colleague from the Navy instructed him to attack Sebastian who was slated to appear before a Congressional hearing in October.
"May kumausap sa kanya na dati niyang kasamahan from the Navy na dapat gawan niya ng paraan para mapatahimik si Jaybee Sebastian para hindi siya makapagsalita laban kay Ma'am Leila de Lima ukol sa paglaganap ng droga sa NBP," Ebreo told members of the House justice committee.
(Someone from the Navy talked to him (Doniña) that he must do something to silence Jaybee Sebastian so that he can't testify against Ma'am Leila de Lima about the proliferation of illegal drugs in the NBP.)
Ebreo said efforts to identify which official from the Navy allegedly gave instructions to Doniña were unsuccessful.
He added that the simultaneous stabbing of Sebastian, and Chinese inmates Tony Co, Peter Co, and Vicente Sy, that both happened on September 28, "were triggered by separate causes."
"There was no showing that they acted together in a disruptive and tumultuous manner in carrying out a common purpose," Ebreo said.
Lawmakers, however, were not convinced that the two incidents were unrelated.
Bayan Muna Party-list Rep. Calos Isagani Zarate said the stabbing of the three Chinese inmates may have been used as "a diversionary tactic" so that Doniña could kill Sebastian.
Tony Co was killed in the incident while Peter Co, Sy, and Sebastian survived the attacks.
COPS GRILLED OVER MISSING MASTERMIND
Capiz Rep. Fredinil Castro also grilled the CIDG over its failure to identify the alleged mastermind of Sebastian's stabbing.
Ebreo said the investigation was "held in abeyance" because the CIDG has already submitted its report to their higher-ups. The probe could be reopened if they are instructed to do so.
CIDG chief Benjamin Magalong said he had instructed CIDG deputy chief Eliseo Rasco to pursue the investigation, but it appears that Ebreo was not informed of the order.
Rasco, for his part, claimed that he told Ebreo to continue the investigation "if other evidence or witnesses are acquired."
Unsatisfied with the explanation, Castro pointed out that the police could have easily found more clues because they already know that the alleged mastermind is supposedly a Navy man.
The lawmaker said he will defer further questions until the House is furnished with annexes of the PNP report so they could hold a "more intelligent" discussion.