JUSTICE Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said there is no need for the House Committee on Justice to subpoena Jaybee Sebastian — the inmate accused of pooling drug money for then-Justice Secretary Leila de Lima's senatorial bid.
In a press conference in the Department of Justice (DOJ) Monday, Aguirre said the House will no longer issue a subpoena to compel Sebastian to attend congress' hearing on drug proliferation in New Bilibid Prison.
"Hindi na daw kailangan ng supoena kasi when a person is an inmate there are some political rights na suspended. Di na kailangan isubpoena ang isang under detention," Aguirre said.
Aguirre said the inmate may testify but he is not sure if the congress will issue an immunity for Sebastian's protection.
"Kung gusto niya umatend dun without any immunity nasa kanya yun, but he must be made aware of that," he said.
Aguirre, however, said he believes that there is no need for Sebastian to testify as the testimonies of the first nine inmates in the congressional inquiry had already given weight to the case being built up against Senator de Lima.
"I don't know what's the reason kung kung bat kailangan ipasubpoena pa, pa-appearin pa si Jaybee...Sa akin, hindi na, kasi very clear na yung testimonies ng mga witnesses eh," the Secretary of Justice said.
Aguirre said he has also received reports that Sebastian would like to limit his testimonies before the committee, if ever he will agree to testify.
"Nakarating sakin na Gusto ni JB na ilimit ang kaniyang testimony sa anomalya sa pagkain where 10 million is distributed to 5 officials of the government," Aguirre said.
Aguirre said he will not pursue convincing Sebastian to appear in the probe if he will not tell the truth: "Kung hindi rin lang buong katotohanan ang sasabihin niya, ill reject it."
In a a press conference last Friday, the Secretary of Justice said that there is a possibility that Sebastian will be the last addition to the first 9 witnesses who testified before the House of Representatives earlier this week.
"Posibleng di na madadagdagan inmates except kay Jaybee Sebastian," Aguirre said.
Aguirre earlier requested before the committee handling the probe to issue a subpoena to compel Sebastian to attend the next hearing on October 5.
Sebastian is being accused of leading the drug trade inside the NBP for de Lima's senatorial bid. Inmates identified him as the "king" inside the maximum compound facility for being the most "favored" inmate by de Lima.
The alleged drug lord was also accused of requiring other gang leaders to raise campaign funds or "quota" for de Lima by selling illegal drugs. (Sunnex)