Sun.Star Davao

Main witness in De Lima’s drug-related charges recants statements

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As far as I know and based on my profession­al relationsh­ip with Sec. De Lima, she is incapable of doing anything illegal, much less engage in the illegal drug trade or accept money from Bilibid inmates. All of my allegation­s to the contrary in my affidavits and House and court testimonie­s are all fiction, false, and fabricated. RAFAEL MARCOS RAGOS

Former Bucor OIC and NBI deputy director for intelligen­ce

FORMER Bureau of Correction­s (Bucor) officerin-charge and deputy director for intelligen­ce of the National Bureau of Investigat­ion (NBI) Rafael Marcos Ragos has admitted to making up lies to link former Justice secretary now Senator Leila de Lima to the illegal drug trade.

In his four-page affidavit signed on April 3, 2022, Ragos said he was ordered by then Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to manufactur­e false informatio­n against De Lima and corroborat­e the statement of former intelligen­ce agent Jovencio Ablen Jr.

“As far as I know and based on my profession­al relationsh­ip with Sec. De Lima, she is incapable of doing anything illegal, much less engage in the illegal drug trade or accept money from Bilibid inmates. All of my allegation­s to the contrary in my affidavits and House and court testimonie­s are all fiction, false, and fabricated,” the affidavit stated.

“I was forced to execute the above affidavits and deliver the above House and court testimonie­s against Sec. De Lima and Ronnie Dayan due to threats of being detained myself for the crime of engaging in the illegal drug trade that I did not commit,” it added.

In September 2016, Ragos executed an affidavit saying that he, together with Ablen, delivered two P5 million to De Lima’s residence in November and December 2012.

He said the money came from convicted drug personalit­ies, including Peter Co.

Ragos also said in a supplement­al affidavit that he collected money from Jorge Goff on behalf of the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) caterer, prison inmate and German Agoho for his applicatio­n for pardon for the benefit of De Lima and his security aide/driver Dayan.

He said the money, as told by De Lima, will be used for her candidacy in the 2013 elections.

Ragos testified before the Muntinlupa regional trial court for the drug charges against De Lima and Dayan. He said none of these were true, noting that the only time he went to De Lima’s house was when he and his wife helped her to decorate her house for Christmas.

Ragos said in September 2016, a week before he testified before the House inquiry into the proliferat­ion of illegal drugs inside the NBP, he was called to a meeting by Aguirre in a hotel in Pasay City where the plan against De Lima was ironed out.

“During said meeting, then Sec. Aguirre interrogat­ed and coerced me to admit something that did not happen. He escorted me to another room where Ablen was, and they showed me a copy of a statement. I asked them: ‘Ano yan?’ Ablen responded: ‘Ginawa namin ni Esmeralda yan, may kopya sya n’yan,’” he said.

“When I asked Sec. Aguirre what they want me to do, he said: ‘Mag-execute ka ng affidavit magcorrobo­rate ka sa statement ni Alben, kung hindi, alam mo naman ang mangyayari,’” he added.

Ragos was a co-accused of De Lima and Dayan in one of the illegal drug trading cases filed before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court. He was arrested on February 17, 2017.

De Lima was arrested on February 24 of the same year. One of the three charges against De Lima had already been dismissed by the Muntinlupa court. Ablen testified against Ragos, who implicated him to illegal drugs operations.

In order for the cases against him to be dropped, which will lead to his release, Ragos said he was told by Aguirre to make more lies to further pin down De Lima.

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