De Lima slams Ragos’ reinstatement to NBI post

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Senator Leila M. de Lima has chided former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos’ reported reinstatement to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) as a reward for implicating her in the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the present administration, attributed Ragos’ recent appointment as the “best example” of how Mr. Duterte has used the rewards-system to encourage individuals to falsely testify against her.

“Ragos knows that his claim, in his testimonies before the House of Representatives, the RTC (Regional Trial Court) and the Senate, of alleged delivery of money to my residence on two occasions is a BIG LIE,” she said.

“But he (Ragos) knows also, as he has reportedly bragged, that his perjured testimony is a vital thread in this administration’s fabricated tapestry,” she added in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 660.

Based on news reports, insiders at the NBI confirmed that Ragos has been reinstated as Deputy Director upon the orders of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, as a reward for his testimony against De Lima.

It may be recalled that Ragos, De Lima’s former co-accused in the drug case, testified against the Senator before Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 in Case 17-165 last June 7, 14, 28 and July 12 of this year.

Note that that the government prosecution filed an Amended Information that changed the crime imputed against De Lima from “illegal drug trading” to “conspiracy to trade illegal drugs”, a move questioned by her and her legal counsels.

De Lima maintained that it was not a mere “amendment” but in fact replaced and substituted an entirely new Information made worse by the sudden exclusion of Ragos as a co-accused in the case.

Kaya malakas ang loob ni Ragos na hingin kay Duterte na ibalik siya bilang NBI Deputy Director dahil na rin sa kanilang napagkasunduan ni dating Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II na ibabalik siya sa posisyon at hindi siya kakasuhan kapalit ng mga kasinungalingan niya laban sa akin,” she pointed out.

The lady Senator from Bicol said the questionable move to reinstate Ragos to the NBI post only shows the desperation of the Duterte administration to pin her down on an obviously politically-motivated and trumped-up illegal drug charges.

“Notwithstanding the discovery of his money-making ventures as OIC-BuCor, Ragos was given immunity and retained in NBI, drawing salary and benefits as NBI official and benefits from the Witness Protection Program and now, he is reinstated to his previous post as Deputy Director,” she said.

“From the time the DOJ withdrew Ragos’s name from the Information filed in court, in exchange for a belated and newly-embellished affidavit, it was already a given that he successfully struck a deal with Duterte through Aguirre,” she added.

De Lima also pointed out that the NBI, as one of the country’s premier law enforcement agencies, deserves better than to be another victim of Duterte’s policy of recycling discredited and corrupt public officials.

“I am sure the old-timers and honest officials and agents at the NBI don’t like having Ragos around their office once again,” she said.

“In the first place, the NBI was adamant in its position that Ragos should be included in the Information originally filed against us, and they protested his eventual exclusion as an accused in the fabricated drug charges filed against me,” she added.

The Duterte administration has filed trumped-up charges against De Lima, a known prisoner of conscience, in an effort to prevent her from speaking up against the abuses and extrajudicial killings happening under this regime. (30)

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