Jaybee Sebastian to sue De Lima for graft, torture
Convicted kidnapper Jaybee Sebastian through his wife is set to file a graft, torture, and breach of ethical conduct complaint against Sen. Leila de Lima for transferring him to Building 14 of the Bilibid maximum security compound despite threats to his life.
Eduardo Arriba on Wednesday went to the Office of the Ombudsman to file the complaint, but the Ombudsman did not accept the complaint because it was not yet subscribed before a notarized public.
Sebastian’s wife Roxanne, who was the affiant in the complaint, was also not present to take her oath.
In an interview, Arriba said he would file the complaint Thursday.
He said De Lima should be held criminally and administratively liable for transferring Sebastian to Building 14 at the maximum security compound where a deadly riot broke out that almost cost Sebastian’s life.
Arriba said Sebastian feared retribution from the “Bilibid 19,” who were transferred there when De Lima led the National Bureau of Investigation in cracking down on lavish quarters or “kubol” of alleged drug dealers in the Bilibid.
De Lima also said Sebastian was a government asset.
Also included in the complaint were former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Rainier Cruz and New Bilibid Prison Supt. Richard Schwarzkopf.
Arriba said De Lima should be held criminally liable for violating Republic Act No. 9745 or the Anti-Torture Act for subjecting Sebastian to “mental torture” when he was put under solitary confinement for 24 hours.
“While it may be true that the purpose is to secure him, pero ni-lock up mo dun to the effect, tinorture mo siya, kasi locked up siya 24/7,” Arriba said.
According to the complaint filed by his wife, Sebastian when he was transferred to Building 14 was locked up under solitary confinement for 24 hours daily, except when his wife gives a visit.
The complaint said Sebastian’s solitary confinement violated the Anti-Torture Act because it subjected Sebastian to mental torture. It also violated Sebastian’s constitutional right against solitary confinement and torture as enshrined in Section 12 (2), Article III of the 1987 Constitution.
“He is not allowed to mingle with his co-inmates. Neither was he allowed to attend meetings with inmates and BuCor personnel nor participate in any entertainment or athletic activity within Building 14. These circumstances have not only caused mental torture and trauma to Mr. Sebastian and his family, but also demeaned and degraded his human dignity as well,” the complaint read.
Arriba said De Lima and the other officials should be held liable for graft over gross negligence and evident bad faith when they transferred Sebastian to Building 14 despite knowing that his life is in danger there.
The complaint said the officials should be charged for violating Section 3(e) of the Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act for causing undue injury to government or giving unwarranted benefit to any party through manifest partiality, evident bad faith and gross inexcusable negligence.
Arriba said De Lima even posed greater danger when she announced that Sebastian was a government asset.
“It’s like feeding him to the lions,” Arriba said.
According to the complaint, Sebastian through his lawyers wrote to De Lima and the BuCor for his request to be pulled out of the Building 14, also known as the Bilibid Security Housing Unit (SHU), due to threats to his life.
But BuCor director Cruz in a letter dated April 4, 2016 denied Sebastian’s request to be transferred from the Building 14 to the Maximum Security Compound, citing the “directive to place inmate Sebastian at the SHU (Security Housing Unit) … from former Justice Secretary Leila De Lima, the department to which this Bureau is under.”
According to the complaint, upon Sebastian’s arrival to Building 14, fellow inmate Herbert Colangco shouted at him: “Tapos ka na! Ako ang nagpatapon sayo! Para kang taxi na may metro, malapit na oras mo!”
Colangco testified at the House of Representatives inquiry and pointed at Sebastian as the operator of the Bilibid drug trade to allegedly raise campaign funds for De Lima.
“Thereafter, Mr. Sebastian was locked up alone at the solitary confinement cell, and after several hours, he was brought to the visiting area to talk with his wife. While talking with his wife, Herbert Colangco and other inmates shouted in unison: ‘TAPOS KA NA! YAKAPIN MONG MABUTI ASAWA MO!'” the complaint read.
The complaint added that at another time, Colangco passed by Sebastian and shouted: “NAGKAMALI KA NG BINANGGA! AKO ANG NAGPWESTO KAY DIRECTOR!”
Breach of ethical conduct
The complaint added that the officials should be charged for violating Section 5(a) of Republic Act 6713 or the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, which states that public officials are obliged to respond to letters, telegrams or other means of communications sent by the public within 15 working days from receipt.
The complainant said De Lima and the BuCor repeatedly ignored Sebastian’s letters about the threats to his life at Building 14.
The complainant added that De Lima and the BuCor officials should be held administratively liable for grave misconduct, gross negligence in the performance of duty, grave abuse of authority, and conduct grossly prejudicial to the best interest of public service.
Sebastian was implicated in the House of Representatives inquiry into the alleged drug proliferation at the Bilibid as the alleged drug dealer that collected drug money for De Lima inside the national penitentiary.
Bilibid inmates who testified in the House inquiry alleged that Sebastian was De Lima’s favored drug lord who raised campaign funds for the senator from the drug trade.
Just when the House justice committee summoned the Sebastian for the inquiry in aid of legislation on the proliferation of drugs at the Bilibid, a riot occurred on Sept. 28 when convicted police officer Clarence Dongail caught inmates Peter Co, Tony Co, and Vicente Sy having a “pot session” inside their cell at the Bilibid maximum security compound.
Tony Co went to the cell of Sebastian and Dongail and attacked Dongail with a knife, sparking the riot. Tony Co was killed in the riot, while Peter Co is in critical condition and Sebastian sustained multiple puncture wounds.
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