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De Lima raises questions on death of high-profile inmate Vicente Sy

August 01, 2021 - Sunday 4:08 PM by MDM

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Detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Sunday raised concern on the "trend" of inmates who are witnesses against her dying, after Vicente Sy died while in detention last week.

"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. As they say, dead men tell no tell tales,"  De Lima said in a dispatch on Sunday.

The Bureau of Corrections confirmed Friday that Sy, who had been detained at the Philippine Marine Corps facility in Taguig, passed away on Thursday night. He was brought to the hospital on Tuesday after reporting difficulty of breathing. On July 29, he experienced another cardiac arrest.

Sy's death followed the death of Jaybee Sebastian due to COVID-19 last year. Sebastian was also one of the inmate-witnesses against De Lima. De Lima also noted that Sy was stabbed in 2016, where another one high-profile inmate, Tony Co, died.

De Lima said that during hearing, Sy admitted that he had no personal knowledge of accusations against her. "At this point, after almost four years and a half unjust detention, I have no ill will against Vicente Sy and, as a human being, I commiserate with his bereaved family," she added.

But the senator raised:  "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 allege drug links would be targeted for extermination in order to permanently silence them from exposing the truth about my cases." 

"'Pag nagpagamit ka sa masama, baka mapatay ka ng masamang gumamit sa iyo. Sino kaya ang isusunod nila?" De Lima continued.

Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra told reporters that Sy's passing would not have any impact on the case against De Lima. He said: "I have been informed that his witness had already testified in the criminal cases against Sen. De Lima. He had also been cross-examined."