NBI files murder charges against 8 in prison blast

MANILA, Philippines – The National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Monday, March 2, filed murder and frustrated murder charges against a convicted drug lord and 7 others in connection with the January 8 explosion inside the maximum security compound of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Charged before the Muntinlupa City Prosecutor's Office were:

They were charged with violations of Article 248, in relation to Article 6 of the Revised Penal Code.

Based on the NBI’s investigation, Brillo was the person who lobbed a hand grenade in the supposed bailiwick of Sigue-Sigue Commando Gang leader Jayvee Sebastian. The blast resulted in the death of Jojo Sampo, a member of the Commando Gang, along with injuries for 19 other inmates.

“The main target, Jaybee Nino Sebastian, who was standing at the blast site, escaped the attempt on his life when he went to visit his fellow inmates,” read the 5-page transmittal complaint signed by Max Salvador, the NBI-National Capital Region (NBI-NCR) regional director.

Salvador said the complaint against the suspects was anchored on the testimony of other inmates in the NBP.

Inmate Leonardo Eliseo recalled overhearing the phone coversation of Dasmarinas with Co that Sebastian allegedly refused to pay the illegal drugs that the Sigue-Sigue Commando Gang leader took from Co.

Eliseo said that Sebastian's refusal to pay infuriated Co, prompting the convicted drug lord to kill the former. (READ: Bilibid drug trade continues despite raids)

“When he (Eliseo) was about to remit the proceed of the sale of Shabu to Jerson Dasmarinas, he heard the latter talking to Tony Co over the phone. Jerson Dasmarinas put his phone on loud speaker to impress Alias Mayor Onte and Alias Jerry that he is the trusted man of Tony Co,” the NBI official said.

According to Salvador, the suspects had a pot session inside Eliseo's kubol before they carried out the plan to kill Sebastian.

Co was one of 20 “Bilibid kings” who were transferred to the NBI from the maximum compound of the New Bilibid Prison after joint law enforcement agencies raided the state penitentiary on December 15, 2014. 

The other “bilibid kings” were Eugene Chua, Sam Li Chua, Vicente Sy, George Sy, Joel Capones, Herbert Colangco, Peter Co, Amin Imam Buratong, Clarence Dongail, Tom Chua, Rommel Caponey, Jojo Baligad, Willy Chua (Cai Shao Ming), Michael Ong, Jacky King, Willy Sy, Noel Martinez, Agojo Y. Dona, and Benjamin Marcelo.

Justice Secretary Leila de Lima said the raid inside the maximum security compound of the NBP stemmed from intelligence reports that several high-profile inmates are operating their illegal drug trade in the state penitentiary. (READ: IN PHOTOS: Drug lords, murderers, and high living in Bilibid)

Authorities recovered P42,000 in cash from within Tony's kubol. – Rappler.com