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Sebastian ready to talk to Duterte

After sustaining stab wounds in the chest, back and arm during a riot, high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian has agreed to talk on illegal drug trade at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) but only to President Duterte, his lawyer Eduardo Arriba said yesterday.

“Sebastian said he would only speak about the Bilibid drug trade with the President,” Arriba said.

He said that “Sebastian has a lot of knowledge about the drug trade inside and outside the NBP. He initially refused to talk simply because of fear for his life,” the lawyer added.

Sebastian, whom witnesses presented during the inquiry of the committee on justice at the House of Representatives named as the collector of drugs money for former justice secretary and now Sen. Leila de Lima, remained at the Muntinlupa Medical Center.

Arriba said Sebastian has decided to cooperate with the government in its investigation on drug trade at the NBP with his belief that the riot was related to the on-going House investigation.

Quoting Sebastian, Arriba said “what happened to me is what I’ve always been fearing.”

Since he is now exposed to danger, the lawyer said his client decided to talk directly with the President to discuss what he knows.

Sebastian has been subpoenaed to attend the House hearing on October 5.

While Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II earlier said that Sebastian would be presented in the House hearing, he changed his mind and said the high-profile inmate would no longer be presented because he refused to talk on drug trade at NBP.

Arriba confirmed that Sebastian did not want to talk on NBP drug trade in the House hearing because he would not want to get the ire of several officials of the past administration that would be dragged into the controversy.

He did not deny or confirm if Sebastian was indeed a “government asset” as described by De Lima.

Inmate Herbert Colanggo, in his testimony before the House committee on justice, said that Sebastian raised funds from drug trade at the NBP to support the campaign of De Lima in the 2016 election.