The Department of Justice (DOJ) has told drug convict Jaybee Sebastian that he can take or leave its condition for him to spill the beans on the drug trade inside the national penitentiary New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila).
This was the challenge made by Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, who said they will talk with Sebastian only if he will tell the whole, not selective, truth on proliferation of illegal drugs inside NBP.
Aguirre added that Sebastian must give all details of drug transactions inside the national penitentiary during the Aquino administration under the leadership of then-Justice Secretary and now Sen. Leila De Lima.
President Rodrigo Duterte had junked an offer of Sebastian for a meeting.
But Aguirre said he is willing to meet with the leaders of the drug inmates inside the maximum security compound of the NBP.
“He [Sebastian] should tell everything that he knows, without selection of details. Anyway, he will be joined by his lawyer if we agree to talk,” the Justice secretary pointed out.
The DOJ chief has set the condition in exchange for immunity that Sebastian had sought once he testifies in the House of Representatives on October 5.
Inmates Noel Martinez, German Agojo, Joel Capones and Jerry Pepino, who are also set to appear before the House committee in Tuesday’s continuation of hearings on the drug trade inside the NBP.
Convict Herbert Colangco has already testified against de Lima during the committee’s first hearing at the chamber.
Aguirre said Sebastian can be covered by the Witness Protection Program (WPP) with his testimony on illegal drugs inside the national penitentiary.
“Unless Jaybee tells the entire truth, he will not be given immunity. He needs to pass the criteria of WPP before a recommendation for immunity could be made,” he explained.
Aguirre said Sebastian’s testimony will be useless unless he tells the whole truth.
“His statements might be useless and he could be charged as among the principals in the drug cases. That’s why we only need the entire truth from him, no less. That’s the only condition I have: If he wants to cooperate, tell the whole truth,” the Justice secretary added.
Aguirre warned that they will not accept Sebastian if his testimony shall be limited only to alleged anomaly in food supply at the national penitentiary.
Meanwhile, he said, they are studying if they will grant a request of Sebastian’s lawyer Eduardo Arriba for his client to be transferred to another facility after Sebastian sustained stab wounds at a recent riot at the Building 14 of the NBP last week.
Sebastian is confined at the Muntinlupa Medical Center.
In the riot last Friday morning, convicted Chinese drug lord Tony Co was killed while three other high-profile inmates were injured, including Sebastian.
Other inmates who were injured wereVicente Sy and Peter Co.
Peter Co is included in the drug matrix that had been presented to the media by President Rodrigo Duterte.