NEW Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmate Tomas Doniña has claimed he stabbed fellow convict Jaybee Sebastian in September to prevent the latter from testifying against former Justice secretary Leila de Lima.
Doniña made the claim in a sworn statement read by Police Supt. Francisco Ebreo of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) before the House justice committee’s sub-panel on correctional reforms on Wednesday.
Doniña and Sebastian figured in a stabbing incident inside the national penitentiary last September, in which alleged drug lord Tony Co was killed.
Ebreo said Doniña, a former navy man, executed an affidavit on October 8 in which the inmate admitted to stabbing Sebastian, one of the Bilibid’s high-profile convicts, at 7:45 a.m. on September 28.
“He attempted to kill Jaybee Sebastian because a former colleague at the Philippine Navy told him that he should find a way to silence and kill Jaybee Sebastian so that he would not be able to testify against Ma’am Leila de Lima regarding the proliferation of drugs in the New Bilibid Prison,” Ebreo said in Filipino.
Ebreo, who led the CIDG’s fact-finding probe into the incident, however said there was “no strong link or strong evidence” that the person referred to in Doniña’s affidavit was really involved in the stabbing incident.
When asked what steps were taken to identify the person, Ebreo told the sub-committee the result of such efforts turned out negative and the investigation was “held in abeyance.”
Police Director Benjamin Magalong, deputy chief for operations of the Philippine National Police, said he had instructed CIDG Deputy Chief Eliseo Rasco to pursue the probe.
CIDG officials told lawmakers two separate stabbing incidents occurred at the Bilibid in September, not a riot.
The stabbing incidents — which left inmates Sebastian, Vicente Sy and Peter Co wounded — “were triggered by separate causes.”
Ebreo said no cases were filed against Tony Co’s and Sebastian’s assailants. “It was recommended but the NBP investigation section will be the one to file the case,” the police official said.
Based on the CIDG’s findings, inmates Doniña, Clarence Dongail and Edgar Cinco “may be held liable for the incident.”