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Friday, October 14, 2016

Lawyer counters De Lima, says Sebastian's family not threatened

MANILA - The legal counsel of convict Jaybee Sebastian on Wednesday maintained that his client testified in a House hearing without pressure or threat against him or his family. 
"There was no threats, there was no pressure from any camp from whatever source. There was no threat. It was voluntary. Sebastian testified on his own volition," Atty. Eduardo Arriba told ANC's Headstart, contradicting Senator Leila De Lima's claims that Sebastian was pressured to testify. 

De Lima earlier said a credible source said Sebastian's wife had pleaded to him to cooperate with authorities. She also claimed that the convicts who figured in the fatal stabbing incident in the national penitentiary last month were the ones who refused to testify against her.
Arriba asserted, Sebastian's only intent in speaking up is to help the government quell the drug menace. 
"Sebastian revealed all the information that he knows despite the fact that he has that relation or closeness with Secretary De Lima. The purpose is that he wants to help the government put an end to this problem on illegal drugs. That’s the only reason why Sebastian testified," he said.
He also belied Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre's earlier statement that Sebastian only wanted to speak on the corruption in the food system inside the national penitentiary.
"Actually, there was no change of mind. As we stated earlier, Jaybee Sebastian has signified his willingness to testify in relation to the proliferation of illegal drugs and what he knows about this illegal trade inside the NBP," he said.
"Right from the very start, he’s willing. I don’t know where Secretary Aguirre got that information that Jaybee will only testify on the matter of this food provision at NBP," he said.

Arriba maintained, there are no rewards for Sebastian's testimony.
"There’s no request as to the commutation of the sentence. For now, Jaybee Sebastian is willing to serve out the remaining term of his sentence. There’s no request for commutation," he said.


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