Sebastian claims De Lima was protector of Bilibid drug trade
(philstar.com) - October 10, 2016 - 7:13pm

MANILA, Philippines (Philippines News Agency) – Convicted kidnapper and carnapper Jaybee Sebastian on Monday tagged Sen. Leila de Lima as the alleged “protector” of the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison during her stint as Justice secretary.

During the House of Representatives’ justice committee hearing, Compostela Valley Rep. Peter Gonzaga asked Sebastian regarding the role of De Lima in the NBP drug operations.

Sebastian said De Lima was more of a protector rather than a conspirator of the illegal drug trade.

”She is aware that the source of money originated from drugs (trade). We don’t have any other source,” Sebastian said in Filipino.

In his testimony, Sebastian said he raised funds to help bankroll De Lima’s senatorial bid for the May 2016 elections.

Sebastian said he had given a total of P10 million to De Lima through her security aide, Joenel Sanchez, who he claimed had an intimate relationship with De Lima. He said De Lima was aware that the money came from illegal drug trade.

The convict said he concluded Sanchez and De Lima are in a relationship since he saw the lady senator holding hands with her aide and calling him “sweetie.” He added that Sanchez also missent a message supposedly addressed to De Lima, mentioning his term of endearment for the senator “sweetie.”

Sanchez however appeared before the House panel hearing and denied Sebastian's claims. 

Sebastian not 'untouchable' 

Meanwhile, Sebastian denied that he was “untouchable” inside the Bilibid due to his links with de Lima, pinning down another high-profile inmate, Herbert Colanggo, as the alleged favored drug lord of the former DOJ secretary.

”Ang totoo po ay si Colanggo [sic] ang siyang tunay na malakas sa BuCor (Bureau of Corrections) at kay DOJ Secretary De Lima,” Sebastian said, adding that Colanggo has the capacity to smuggle in contraband items, allow gambling activities, and hold weekly concerts inside the NBP.

He said Colanggo's power even extend outside the penitentiary as he can order killings and threat their families or loved ones through his personnel outside NBP.

He also denied being a government asset, contrary to De Lima's earlier claims.

Kabayan Partylist Rep. Harry Roque and other lawmakers pointed out that Sebastian’s testimony contradicts the testimonies of other witnesses in the previous hearings who claimed that he was the alleged point man of De Lima and also responsible for the transfer of the 19 high-profile inmates after the Dec. 15, 2014 raid due to his influential status in the national penitentiary.

Sebastian was granted immunity from suit by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. —PNA/Filane Mikee Z. Cervantes with reports from Philstar.com/Rosette Adel

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