#FreeDeLima: Netizens react after Ex-BuCor Chief recants allegations, says he was ‘coerced’ to testify

May 2, 2022 0 comments


After state witness, Kerwin Espino’s retraction of his accusations vs. Senator Leila De Lima on April 28, another witness came forward and took back his allegations freeing the senator in its ‘alleged’ involvement of the drug-related cases filed by the government.

Rafael Ragos, formerly an officer-in-charge of the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), claims that then-Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II "coerced" him into testifying against Senator Leila De Lima in an affidavit filed on April 30, 2022 in Pasig City.

False testimony vs De Lima and Dayan

In 2016, Ragos confessed that he personally delivered money from National Bilibid Prison (NBP) convicts to then-Justice Secretary De Lima's home on two occasions in 2012 for her senatorial campaign. He claimed that he traded with Ronnie Dayan, De Lima's former driver, enabling her to collect P5 million pesos per transaction. De Lima denied these allegations.


He then previously recanted his previous claims through his affidavit that there was a transaction between him, Dayan, and De Lima. 



Ragos also said then-Justice Undersecretary Raymund Mecate "persistently pressured” him “to further implicate and manufacture lies" against De Lima. "I am executing this affidavit freely, voluntarily, truthfully, and without any mental reservation whatsoever, in order to absolve Sec. De Lima and Ronnie Dayan, who are completely innocent, from entirely false and absolutely fabricated criminal charges," he said in the affidavit signed on April 30.


Ragos stated in his affidavit , "As far as I know and based on my professional relationship with Sec. De Lima, she is incapable of doing anything illegal, much less engage in the illegal drug trade or accept money from Bilibid inmates. All of my allegations to the contrary in my affidavits and House and court testimonies are all fiction, false, and fabricated," 


Senator Leila De Lima is a lawyer, human rights activist, former justice secretary, a senator, and now a political prisoner under the Duterte regime. She was targeted by the authorities because of her willingness to investigate human rights violations and extrajudicial killings under President Rodrigo Duterte’s “War on Drugs”. She was jailed in 2017 due to her ‘alleged’ involvement in the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison in which all these accusations were denied by her.


Hashtags #FreeLeilaNow and #FreeDELIMA were strengthened after Espino and Ragos came forward and absolved De Lima through their filed affidavits. Here are some of the reactions of netizens:











━━ Written By  Shanna Grace  Hebron


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