Bilibid drugs case: Ex-BuCor OIC Ragos surrenders to NBI

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Rafael Ragos, the former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge who is facing charges over the alleged drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison, surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Sunday, February 26.

Ragos is one of the co-accused in the cases filed by the Department of Justice (DOJ) last February 17, following a 5-month high-profile investigation of the supposed drug trade inside the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa.

Ragos arrived at the NBI before noon Sunday, according to NBI Director Dante Gierran.

At the center of the cases is Senator Leila de Lima, who is accused of collecting money from drug lords detained at Bilibid.

During one of the House committee hearings on the issue, Ragos testified that he personally delivered millions of pesos in drug money to De Lima's residence, back when she was still justice secretary. (READ: Bilibid probe witnesses: We delivered P5-M 'quota' to De Lima)

Aside from De Lima and Ragos, the others charged before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) include the senator's former boyfriend and driver Ronnie Dayan, ex-BuCor chief Franklin Jesus Bucayu, Bucayu's former staff Wilfredo Elli, inmate Jaybee Sebastian, De Lima's ex-security aide Joenel Sanchez, and De Lima's supposed nephew Jad de Vera.

The DOJ filed 3 criminal complaints before the court against De Lima, accusing her of violating Section 5 of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which penalizes the "sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs."

Violators face 12 years to life imprisonment and fines range from P500,000 to P10 million.

An arrest warrant was issued for De Lima, Ragos, and Dayan on Thursday, February 23, less than a week after the charges were filed. The warrant was issued by Judge Juanita Guerrero of Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204.

Dayan was arrested in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan on Thursday, while De Lima surrendered to authorities on Friday, February 24.

Ragos will be in NBI custody until the court issues a commitment order, which will indicate where he will be jailed. – Rappler.com