Ex-BuCor chief turns state witness vs De Lima

By , on November 16, 2017


Sen. Leila M. de Lima was escorted by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as she arrived yesterday, Nov. 16, at the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 to answer the trumped-up illegal drug trading charge filed against her. (Photo: Leila de Lima/Facebook)
Sen. Leila M. de Lima was escorted by members of the Philippine National Police (PNP) as she arrived yesterday, Nov. 16, at the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 to answer the trumped-up illegal drug trading charge filed against her. (Photo: Leila de Lima/Facebook)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Thursday turned former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos into state witness in the illegal drug charges against detained Senator Leila de Lima and her former bodyguard and driver Ronnie Dayan, after dropping him as one of the respondents in the case.

According to Senior Assistant Prosecutor Ramoncito Ocampo Jr., the DOJ panel of prosecutors have decided to turn Ragos into a state witness due to a motion filed to the court after he narrated an additional sworn statement prevailing the transactions of the lady senator and Dayan.

“We have asked the court for the dropping of Ragos as one of the accused. We will utilize him as a prosecution witness,” Ocampo Jr. said.

In one of the statements of Ragos, he narrated that he discovered money amounting to five million pesos inside a bag in his quarters at the BuCor. He alleged that the money came from convicted drug lord Peter Co and claimed that it was De Lima’s share in the illegal drug trade transactions at the New Bilibid Prisons.

“This non-disclosure is tantamount to a violation of the Memorandum of Agreement entered into by respondent Ragos with the WPSBP (witness protection program),” the amended information signed by state prosecutors Peter Ong, Leilia Llanes, Evangeline Canobas and Ramoncito Ocampo Jr. said.

“Nonetheless, such non-disclosure was rectified when respondent Ragos executed an additional sworn statement detailing the sources of the money he delivered to then Secretary of Justice Leila M. De Lima and Ronnie Palisoc Dayan on November 24, 2012 and December 15, 2012,” the information added.

De Lima and Dayan are accused of violating Section 26(b) in relation to Section 5, Section 3 and Section 28 of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.