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Cause of Bilibid riot

Earlier reports disclosed that the riot inside the Maximum Security Compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) was sparked by an inmate who berated his fellow high-profile prisoners for having a shabu session inside the premises.

But one of the victims, Jaybee Sebastian, through his lawyer Eduardo Amba, revealed a different version of the incident. Sebastian said he was seated on a rocking chair and watching TV when stabbed by inmate Tomas Donina.

According to Sebastian’s testimony, Donina and another inmate, former Chief Inspector Clarence Dongail, approached him before the incident to talk about rumors of an alleged plan to kill Dongail’s wife, Grace. Dongail supposedly accused Sebastian and fellow inmate Hanz Tan as the persons behind the sinister plot.

Sebastian explained that inmate Peter Co had earlier rebuked Tony Co’s wife Jenny for frequently going out with Dongail’s wife. With all the foolishness her husband is involved in, the people he offended may take it out on Grace.

Jenny can get caught in the middle and even catch the bullet meant for Grace.

Still, Dongail supposedly told Sebastian that Peter Co heard him and Hanz plotting against the former cop’s wife.

Dongail was allegedly smiling when he disclosed this and Donina even suggested that they simply forget the whole issue.

Sebastian revealed that he even saw Dongail follow Peter Co, Tony Co and Vicente Sy enter their hut while he watched TV and a few seconds later, got stabbed by Donina.

As Sebastian shouted for help while grappling with his attacker, he also heard shouts and pleadings for mercy coming from inside Co’s hut.

Jaybee knew of no other reason for Donina to stab him other than that he “worked” for Dongail. Tony Co died in the attack while Peter Co, Sy and Sebastian were seriously wounded.

If we were to believe Sebastian’s story, this could be the real reason behind the stabbing, disproving the version that Dongail confronted Peter Co, Tony Co and Sy for having a shabu session which caused the riot inside Building 14 of the Maximum Security Compound.

Come to think of it, having a shabu session inside the premises with all the Special Action Force troops manning the place was impossible unless the SAF operatives were useless and unreliable in the performance of their duties.

Remember that according to reports, the authorities found no drug paraphernalia inside the hut.

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SHORT BURSTS. For comments or reactions, email firingline@ymail.com or tweet @Side_View. Read current and past issues of this column at http://www.tempo.com.ph/category/opinion/firing-line/ (Robert B. Roque, Jr.)