DOJ will not present Sebastian in House probe on Bilibid drug trade

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — The House of Representatives is set to continue its hearing on the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison next week.

Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said convict Jaybee Sebastian will not be making an appearance, as initially planned.

Aguirre explained they can do away with Sebastian's testimony, as other inmates' statements during the first hearing already paint a clear picture of the illegal drug trade inside the prison.

"Sa akin pwedeng hindi na kasi very clear na yung mga testimonies ng other inmates eh (I think he doesn't have to be there because the testimonies of the other inmates are very clear)," Aguirre told reporters during a press briefing at the Department of Justice (DOJ) on Monday.

Also read: De Lima says Jaybee Sebastian is a 'government asset'

High profile inmates who testified during the first hearing identified Sebastian as the top drug lord inside the national penitentiary, who allegedly raised millions to fund the campaign of Senator Leila De Lima.

Aguirre revealed Sebastian has expressed willingness to talk, but not about drugs.

Sebastian supposedly insists he is not involved, and is instead offering information on alleged anomalies in the prison's food supplies-- but Aguirre said the Justice Department is not interested in that, at the moment.

"Sabi ko hindi (I said no)... I rejected it. Sabi ko pag hindi rin lang buong katotohanan ang sasabihin niya (I said if he is not going to say the entire truth anyway), I reject it," Aguirre said.

Still, Aguirre said he is not yet closing the doors on Sebastian in case he changes his mind and decides to speak up.

But if he does not, the justice chief warned-- "'Pag ayaw niya mag-cooperate (If he doesn't want to cooperate) then he could be sure that he would be one of the respondents."

The DOJ is now preparing the next batch of witnesses for the continuation of the Lower House probe.

This time, Aguirre said they will move on to De Lima's former security aides, including Jonel Sanchez, who was previously accused of being one of De Lima's bag men.

The justice chief, meantime, admitted they have yet to track down Ronnie Dayan.

Dayan is De Lima's former driver, who is also accused of collecting drug money for her from Bilibid inmates.

Related: 'De Lima allowed entry of drugs, contraband in Bilibid for money'