'Don't let Duterte's minions use you,' De Lima tells new state witness Ragos
MANILA, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila de Lima called on her former subordinate, Rafael Ragos and another co-accused, former boyfriend Ronnie Dayan, to “listen to their conscience” and “not allow themselves to be used by Duterte’s minions.”
De Lima made the statement on Saturday, November 18, days after the Department of Justice dropped the charges against Ragos, former officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor). Ragos will now turn witness against De Lima and Dayan.
Ragos and Dayan allegedly collected grease money from convicts inside the New Bilibid Prison to fund De Lima’s senatorial campaign. The BuCor and Bilibid are both under the DOJ, which De Lima headed for over 5 years under the previous administration.
In a statement, De Lima said Ragos turning witness is “suspicious and fishy,” as if there was a “done deal…for more lies.”
“Alam ko na alam nila [Ragos and Dayan] na inosente ako, at gawa-gawa lang ang mga kaso laban sa akin. Pakinggan sana nila ang kanilang konsensiya. Magpakatotoo sila. Magpakalalaki sila. Huwag na silang magsinungaling. Huwag silang magpagamit sa mga kampon ni Duterte,” said the senator.
(I know that Ragos and Dayan know I am innocent, that these cases against me are all made up. I hope they listen to their conscience. They should be true to themselves. They should man up. They should not lie. They shouldn't let themselves be used by Duterte’s minions.)
De Lima is in jail for illegal drug charges filed before a Muntinlupa court.
Ragos and other witnesses for the prosecution, some of them Bilibid convicts, had earlier claimed that they gave and collected money for De Lima in 2012, allegedly to fund her senatorial bid. De Lima’s camp had rejected this claim.
De Lima was – and continues to be – among Duterte’s loudest critics. She and her allies have repeatedly said that the the allegations against her are all false, and intended to silence her. (READ: The public trial of Leila de Lima)
A neophyte senator, De Lima led a Senate probe into allegations of extrajudicial killings in Duterte’s bloody drug war. She was kicked out as chairman of the Senate justice committee. Senator Richard Gordon later took on the post and released a report saying that neither Duterte not the state had a hand in apparent summary killings in the drug war. – Rappler.com