Guevarra lauds Senate for deferred PDL deaths probe

July 30, 2020

JUSTICE Secretary Menardo Guevarra has lauded the Senate's decision to wait for the result of formal investigation into the deaths of high profile inmates before proceeding with committee hearings.

“I’m glad that Sen. (Richard) Gordon has decided to await the results of the NBI (National Bureau of Investigation) investigation before considering the conduct of a Senate probe on the same subject,” Guevarra said.

“The NBI has the necessary expertise to verify the relevant facts,” he continued, adding the NBI has already submitted an initial report.

Gordon recently announced that the Senate will conduct an investigation into the controversial deaths of high-profile inmates like Jaybee Niño Sebastian allegedly due to COVID-19 complications.

The NBI was formally tasked to launch a probe into the death of Sebastian and eight other high-profile inmates in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

In Department Order No. 179, the NBI thru Officer-In-Charge Eric Distor, was directed to launch a probe and file charges against anyone if necessary. The bureau was given 10 days to come up with an initial result.

Sebastian reportedly died while undergoing treatment at the NBP hospital due to acute myocardial infarction as a complication of COVID-19.

Sebastian hogged the headlines when he testified before a House committee investigating the alleged involvement of detained Sen. Leila de Lima in illegal drugs trade in 2016.

De Lima has consistently denied all the allegations against her.

The lawmaker is currently detained at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP) in Camp Crame, Quezon City as she faces three drug charges filed by the DOJ before the courts.