Sebastian, Sanchez face off at Bilibid hearing: Who’s the liar?
Convicted kidnapper Jaybee Sebastian and Jonel Sanchez, who was Senator Leila De Lima’s former security aide, faced off at the House of Representatives investigation into the proliferation of drugs at the New Bilibid Prison.
Sanchez attended the afternoon session after Sebastian tagged him as the bagman of De Lima in the Bilibid drug trade when the latter was justice secretary.
Sanchez denied he received drug money for De Lima from Sebastian, maintaining that he was more credible because he was not convicted of a crime.
Sebastian earlier admitted that he raised P10 million in campaign funds for De Lima from the sale of shabu. He pointed at Sanchez as the one receiving the payola for De Lima.
“Sa akin, hindi po ako convicted. 19 years in the service ako sa gobyerno, wala akong record. Kaya ako naniniwala na totoo ang sinasabi ko rito (I’m not convicted. I’m in the government service for 19 years, I have no record. That’s why I believe I’m saying the truth),” Sanchez said.
He acknowledged that he was not granted immunity from suit by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, adding that he was confident of his testimony in the face of being charged with perjury.
Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas asked Sebastian to point at Sanchez if indeed he knows De Lima’s former security aide.
Sebastian came up to Sanchez and tapped him on the shoulder.
Sebastian said Sanchez was already lying when the latter denied not knowing another influential Bilibid drug lord, convicted robber Herbert Colanggo.
Sebastian alleged Sanchez received P25,000 in payola from Colanggo.
“Your honor, mas tanungin natin siya ng mabuti kung talagang hindi niya kilala si Herbert Colanggo. Yun pa lang po, na sinasabi niyang hindi niya kilala si Herbert Colanggo, napakalaking kasinungalingan na (let’s ask him if he knows Herbert Colanggo. Denying he knows Colanggo is a huge lie),” Sebastian said.
“Hindi ko kilala si Herbert Colanggo (I don’t know Herbert Colanggo), Sir,” Sanchez rebutted.
“Pero yung P25,000 na pinadala sa kaniya ni Herbert Colanggo, inaamin niya po (But he admits receiving P25,000 from Herbert Colanggo),” Sebastian said.
Sanchez denied he admitted receiving any payola from Colanggo.
Sanchez said what he admitted was receiving payola from Reynante Diaz, Colanggo’s talent manager. Colanggo has held concerts and recorded platinum albums from inside the Bilibid.
“Kay Diaz may inamin ako, hindi kay Herbert Colanggo (I admitted receiving money from Diaz, not from Herbert Colanggo),” Sanchez said.
Antipolo City Rep. Romeo Acop said the testimonies of the witnesses were conflicting.
Acop cited Sanchez in his testimony that he filed a leave from work in May 2015 because his father suffered a heart attack.
Sebastian in his affidavit, on the other hand, said he raised P10-million campaign funds for De Lima from March to May 2015.
“Sino kaya sa inyong dalawa ang nagsasabi ng katotohanan? Dahil conflicting statements niyo eh (Who between the two of you is saying the truth. Your statements are conflicting),” Acop said.
“Someone is lying here,” Acop added.
House justice committee chair Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali asked Sanchez if he would be willing to undergo a lie detector test. Sanchez said he has already undergone one.
But he later admitted that the questions the National Bureau of Investigation agent asked him were about his sworn affidavit and not about the allegations he had a relationship with De Lima and that he was De Lima’s bagman.
Sanchez denied Sebastian’s allegation he had a relationship with De Lima. adding that Sebastian may have only misinterpreted upon seeing Sanchez hold De Lima’s hands.
Sanchez said he may have been holding De Lima’s hand to assist her or to help her in case she slipped on the floor.
He also denied De Lima called him “sweetie,” although he demonstrated that De Lima calls him by name in a sweet tone.
“Sa security syempre, kailangan naming pangalagaan ang security. Tulad ng sinasabi, pag nadulas si secretary, aalalayan niya. Namisinterpret lang ni Jaybee, Sir, na nahawakan ko kamay ni Secretary (We have to look after [De Lima’s] security. If secretary slips on the floor, I assist her. Jaybee misinterpreted it, Sir, that I held secretary’s hand),” Sanchez said. RAM/rga