Press Release
August 3, 2021

De Lima alarmed over trend of witnesses dying following Vicente Sy's death

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima is alarmed at what she described as a "beleaguering trend" of deaths involving convicted government witnesses in the trumped-up drug cases against her following the recent reported demise of Vicente Sy.

"Ano na naman ito!? Meron na naman namatay (o pinatay?) na high-profile inmate sa Bilibid. At cardiac arrest naman daw ang dahilan," she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1111.

"As I've said several times before, it's not remote that any, some, if not all, of these prosecution witnesses who were either coerced, threatened, bribed or blackmailed to lie about my alleged drug links would be targeted for extermination in order to permanently silence them from exposing the truth about my cases."

"This beleaguering trend of witnesses dying still does not give comfort to me who is waiting for their eventual revelation on who are behind these fabricated charges filed against me," she added.

Based on reports, Sy was brought to the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) Hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest around 8 p.m. last July 29 and died while waiting to be transferred to the Ospital ng Muntinlupa.

Sy, a prosecution witness in one of the three fabricated drug cases against De Lima, is the second high-profile convict who testified against the Senator to have died amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the first one being inmate Jaybee Sebastian who purportedly succumbed to COVID-19 last year.

"I believe and maintain, to this day, that it [Jaybee Sebastian's death] was a case of deliberate killing in order to block his then impending retraction of his affidavit falsely implicating me in the Bilibid drug trade," she said.

Sy was one of the four inmates who were stabbed in a staged prison riot in 2016 to coerce them into falsely testifying against De Lima in the kangaroo House hearings. One of them, Tony Co, died in that incident.

De Lima recalled that Sy bluntly admitted on cross-examination and re-direct examination, that he had no personal knowledge of the accusations against her. Sy was emphatic in his testimony that he did not know De Lima and that he never gave her money.

"At this point, after almost four years and a half under unjust detention, I have no ill will against Vicente Sy and, as a human being, I commiserate with his bereaved family. At least, he didn't lie about not knowing me and not giving me money. His sin against me, if any, pales in comparison to the sin of those who used him and his fellow inmates to bring down an innocent woman and public servant," she said.

"As they say, dead men tell no tales. And it appears that my persecutors are sticking to the malevolent wisdom of this saying. As if the truth can be eternally buried or is not inevitable. As if there's no day of reckoning... 'Pag nagpagamit ka sa masama, baka mapatay ka ng masamang gumamit sa iyo. Sino kaya ang isusunod nila?" she asked.

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