High-profile inmate ‘Jaybee Sebastian’ dies due to COVID-19

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High profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian died on Saturday due to COVID-19.

Sources said that a few weeks ago, Sebastian was taken to Site Harry, a COVID-19 facility inside the New Bilibid Prison, after showing symptoms of the virus.

A death certificate showed that a 40-year-old man named “Jaybee Niño Sebastian” died on Saturday at the NBP Hospital.

The cause of death as listed on the death certificate is acute myocardial infarction as a complication of COVID-19.

No autopsy was done on the body.

The remains were cremated in a crematorium in Cavite.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Saturday said he has summoned Bureau of Corrections Director General Gerald Bantag to his office on Monday regarding the matter.

In October 2016, at a House hearing on the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison, an inmate named Jaybee Niño Sebastian tagged Senator Leila de Lima as a protector of illegal drug operations in the facility.

De Lima said Sebastian was “pressured” by authorities to pin her down.

In November 2016, Sebastian filed graft and criminal charges before the Department of Justice against De Lima and former Bureau of Corrections chief Ricardo Rainier Cruz and former NBP head Richard Schwarzkopf Jr.

The complaints involve the following issues:

the alleged complicity of De Lima, former Justice Secretary, in the proliferation of illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in exchange for campaign funds;

De Lima’s claim that Sebastian was a government asset inside the national penitentiary, and

Sebastian’s transfer from the maximum security compound to Building 14 despite threats to his life./Stacy Ang

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