Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II has refused to provide media with the next batch of witnesses the Department of Justice planned to field against Senator Leila de Lima at the House committee on justice probe on October 5.
In a press conference, Aguirre was afraid that their witnesses from the National Bilibid Prison could be pressured by outside forces especially after de Lima herself declared that she had many contacts inside the maximum security prison. Aguirre presented last week several high-profiel inmates, including convicted drug lord Herbert Colanggo,
“I can’t reveal to you the names. Maraming ano si de Lila, maraming tumutulong sa kanya. even the wife of Jaybee Sebastian,” said Aguirre referring to the convicted kidnapper who de Lima identified as a “government asset” after high-profile inmates claimed he was de Lima’s go-to guy for their drug protection racket inside the NBP.
In an emotional press conference two days ago, de Lima claimed she received text messages forwarded by an insider at the NBP. This included a text message from Sebastian’s wife who claimed to be getting pressure from the DOJ camp for Sebastian to testify against de Lima.
In the text message shared by de Lima, Sebastian’s wife said: ”Sir kakausapin ko si jb ngayon para papayagin na magtestify na against de lima. Sya na nadidiin ngayon. Sya susi sa lahat. Labag man sa kalooban ko pero sa tingin ng mas nakararami ito ang tamang paraan. Ipapasantabi ko na lang sa kanya galit nya saka na lang hugutin pag ok na lahat.
Pati po personal na buhay namin sigurado apektado, lumalalim po ang imbestigasyon. Si de lima lang naman kailangan nila. Alam ko mapapatawad kami ng mga anak ko at ng mga naniniwala sa kanya kung sakaling magdesisyon kami ng salungat sa prinsipyo namin. Sorry po.”
Aguirre saiid this information proved that de Lima had deep ties with Sebastian, his wife, and other inmates. “Why call her? Ibig sabihin very familiar sila sa isa’t isa. Nagyabang pa na ‘marami tumatawag sa akin’. (So) marami ka contact sa inmates,” said Aguirre.