The attack on drug convict Jaybee Sebastian could be part of a plan to "terminate" drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison, a party-list lawmaker said Wednesday, adding the government may have something to do with it.
According to Magdalo party-list Rep. Gary Alejano, he heard from an informant that the killing of incarcerated drug lords would be done through a "staged riot."
"May na-receive ako na information two months ago. Ang information, iyong mga drug lord will be terminated and liqudated through a staged riot," he said.
Alejano declined to identify the source of his information, but claimed the person "has direct information" on the goings-on inside the national penitentiary.
He also refused to speculate on who could be behind the "staged riot," but said it would not be hard to see the government's hand in it.
"Iyong suspected drug users sa labas namamatay dahil suspect sila at nanlaban. Eh 'di much more sa kulungan. Hawak ang buhay nila ng mga guwardiya," he said.
Alejano said the people behind the staged riot probably think that killing off drug lords in prison is the easiest way to clamp down the illegal drug trade in the country.
President Rodrigo Duterte and Justice Vitaliano Aguirre II have repeatedly said drug lords inside the NBP are controlling the drug trade not only inside the penitentiary but even beyond its walls.
"Itong drug lords na ito, hindi mo na magalaw at makulong kasi nasa loob na sila ng kulungan. So wala nang ibang way but i-liquidate sila. Iyon ang nakikita ko," said Alejano.
Since the start of the Duterte administration, more than 1,000 drug suspects have been killed either during police operations or through vigilante-style attacks. Meanwhile, more than 18,000 drug users have been arrested, and more than 700,000 have surrendered.
Alejano said he wants to bring up the issue on "liquidation" plan to the House justice committee, which is currently conducting an inquiry on the proliferation of drugs inside the NBP. However, the lawmaker thinks the panel has already shown its partiality through the two days of hearings it has so far conducted last week.
During the inquiry, nine witnesses, mostly NBP inmates, all pointed to Sebastian as the one behind efforts to raise money for the candidacy of Sen. Leila de Lima. The neophyte senator, likewise, has been implicated by the witnesses to have benefited from the drug trade inside the NBP.
"The [House panel] has already concluded the hearing. May conclusion na sila kaagad. What we need is an objective investigation. Kasi kung may conclusion ka na kaagad, saan pa pupunta iya?" Alejano said.
Alejano said he would be requesting copies of CCTV at Building 14, where the stabbing of Sebastian and three other inmates, including drug convicts Peter and Tony Co, happened on Wednesday morning.
There are currently two versions of what transpired during the stabbing incident, with one involving an alleged pot session of the Chinese nationals inside Buildng 14, which Alejado said was highly unlikely.
"Paanong nagka-pot session doon eh PNP-SAF na nga ang nagbabantay doon? Tuluy-tuloy ang galugad nila," said Alejano, referring to an elite police unit tasked to maintain security at the national penitentiary.
Alejano suspected that the government could be forcing Sebastian to testify against De Lima. "Naiintindihan namin bakit nila sinabi na hindi makaka-attend si Sebastian kasi nasabihan siguro na matigas ang ulo," he said.
Alejano, however, stressed the importance of allowing Sebastian to air his side of the story. "Para naman makapagsalita siya ng side niya. We only heard one side," he said.
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