Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday hit back at Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for claiming that an inmate has linked her and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV to the stabbing incident inside the New Bilibid Prison last September that injured high profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian.
De Lima said Aguirre's statements on Tuesday was part of the alleged propaganda of the Duterte administration to pin all the blame on somebody else except themselves.
"If I were responsible for the stabbing, it then seems that the NBP (New Bilibid Prison) is run and managed by idiots who can't protect high profile inmates staying inside the most guarded spot in Philippine prisons," she said.
De Lima added that Aguirre has control over the Bilibid but refused to take responsibility for the stabbing of several high profile inmates under his watch.
"Instead, he creates a convenient scapegoat in the person of two senators who were at least several kilometers away from the crime scene," the senator said.
"He has PNP Special Action Forces holding sway over Bilibid but blames two senators for the stabbing incident, instead of asking the PNP-SAF why they were sleeping at the noodlehouse during the so-called riot."
In his affidavit read before a House inquiry last November, inmate Tomas Doniña said he attacked Sebastian on September 28 on instructions from a former colleague at the Philippine Navy supposedly to prevent the convicted kidnapper and confessed drug dealer from testifying on De Lima's links to illegal drugs.
For De Lima, the incident could be a "simple case" of a state-sanctioned assassination attempt on Sebastian who initially refused to testify on her drug links, "but who decided to sing like a bird after he is almost killed by fellow inmates-turned-state-assassins."
"The fact is it is Duterte and his cohorts who ordered the stabbing and also the torture of inmates who refused to testify against me," De Lima said.
Trillanes had also denied any involvement in the stabbing incident and advised Aguirre to get his stories straight as the matter would be the subject of a Senate inquiry. —Virgil Lopez/ALG, GMA News