Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has maintained that the testimonies of former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos and other witnesses in the trumped-up illegal drug charges against her as mere “fictional tales.”
De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, said Ragos and the administration cannot anymore fool the right-thinking Filipino people into believing their fabricated stories against her.
“Only idiots will believe the fictional tales of Ragos and other so-called witnesses about my alleged receipt of drug money from Bilibid inmates,” she said in her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 531.
“Fake cases. Fake stories. Pure inventions. Masyado kasi nilang iniinsulto ang pag-iisip at katalinuhan ng taumbayan. Binababoy pa nila ang justice system,” she added.
During the resumption of the trial on drug charges filed against De Lima before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 205 last June 7, Ragos took the witness stand for the first time since the said trial began more than two years ago.
Ragos, who was once a co-accused in the case before becoming witness of the Department of Justice (DOJ), testified under oath that he personally delivered money to De Lima’s residence in Parañaque on two occasions in 2012, PhP5 million each upon the orders of high-profile inmate Hans Tan.
Ragos claimed he delivered the money to then Justice Secretary De Lima in 2012 for her senatorial bid but it may be noted that, at the time, the 2016 elections were still several years and two elections away.
De Lima did not run or even consider running for office during the 2013 elections.
De Lima’s legal counsel, Atty. Filibon “Boni” Tacardon, meanwhile, has found glaring loopholes in Ragos’ testimony, which the Senator’s legal camp will delve on when they cross-examine Ragos in the next hearing scheduled on June 14.
Amid the political persecution that she is subjected to under the present government, De Lima said she still believes that justice will one day catch up with her oppressors.
“My oppressors, the suborners of perjury included, will have their day of reckoning. Still, God forgive them…” said the former justice secretary. Note that the DOJ dropped Ragos as De Lima’s co-accused, in order to use him as a witness against her.