- News in Photo
A convicted kidnapper and carnapper yesterday claimed he gave then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima P10 million over a period of six months to help fund her senatorial campaign.
Jaybee Sebastian, who gained prominence after appearing in a documentary shown on Discovery Channel in 2013, told the House Committee on Justice that he first handed P2 million to Joenel Sanchez, De Lima’s former closed-in security and alleged lover, a few days before Christmas in 2014.
Sanchez, who was also at the hearing, denied Sebastian’s allegations, claiming he took and passed a lie-detector test administered by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Sebastian cited the instances wherein he handed over money to Sanchez.
“Ilang araw bago mag-Pasko, ako ay nagbigay kay Junel (Joenel) ng dalawang million sa opisina ko mismo at saksi po nito ang kapwa ko bilanggo na si Catapang,” Sebastian read his 12-page affidavit before the panel.
The day after, Sebastian testified that he received a phone call from Sanchez who let him talk to someone whom he presumed to be that of De Lima.
“Sinabi nya na ‘Pare may kakausap sayo naka-loud speaker ka. May narinig ako sa kabilang linya na boses ng babae na kaboses ni Secretary De Lima at sinabi nya sa akin na ‘Jaybee Merry Christmas’ at sumagot naman ako na ‘Merry Christmas din po ma’am, natanggap nyo po ba ang regalo ko sayo?’ At sumagot naman si Secretary na “Yes, Jaybee, Merry Christmas’.”
The call came a week following the Dec. 16, 2014 raid that transferred 19 high-profile inmates to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Sebastian said three days after the raid, Sanchez asked him to raise campaign funds for De Lima being the only one left in the Maximum Security Compound.
He said on Jan. 8, 2015, at 8 a.m., Sanchez texted him and informed him that De Lima would visit the NBP for a command conference and asked him to prepare the money and give it to him.
“Agad akong naghanda ng dalawang milyong piso at ito ay nilagay ko sa paper bag. Habang ako ay naghihintay na ipatawag ni Junel at ni Secretary De Lima ay may naghagis ng granada malapit sa lugar ko na syang naging dahilan ng pagkamatay ng isa sa aking mga kakosa at pagkasugat ng labingsiyam sa kanila,” Sebastian said.
He said De Lima arrived and gave all commanders a two-hour ultimatum to identify the culprit behind the explosion.
Two hours after such directive, De Lima ordered all gang commanders to the dungeon (bartolina).
He said while the gang leaders were discussing De Lima’s directive, a prison guard fetched him and instructed him to immediately go to Bucayu’s office because De Lima would talk to him. He said he immediately proceeded to Bucayu’s office with a paper bag containing P2 million.
Sebastian said he appealed to De Lima not to push through her plan of sending the gang leaders to the dungeon.
“Noong paalis na ako, sinabi ko kay Secretary De Lima na ‘Ma’am may ibigay ako sayong pera, paano to? Kay Junel ko ba iabot ito?’ Sumagot naman si Secretary De Lima na ‘Hindi ko kasama si Junel ngayon, iwan mo na lang dyan’,” he narrated.
Sebastian said over a period of six months, he was able to give R10 million to Sanchez who raised his “monthly quota” to P5 million.
“Sinabi ko kay Junel na mahirapan ako dahil nandoon na sa NBI ang mga kakosa kong mga Chinese drug lords. Sumagot si Junel na baka magalit sayo si SOJ (De Lima) ikaw pa naman ang isa sa mga inaasahan nya para sa paglikum ng pondo,” he said.
After failing to comply with the P5-million monthly quota, Sebastian said he was transferred to Building 14 with the “Bilibid 19” despite several appeals. (CHARISSA M. LUCI)