De Lima hails senators for holding in contempt 2 BuCor officials
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila De Lima on Saturday hailed the Senate for citing for contempt two Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officials for lying in their testimonies during the hearing on the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.
“Good to know that the Senate, acting firmly, has cited for contempt the likes of BuCor officials Benilda Bansil and Veronica Buño for lying in the proceedings before the Justice and Human Rights Committee, jointly with other Committees,” De Lima said in a statement.
Sen. Richard Gordon, chairman of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, noted, however, that he cited for contempt Bansil and Buño “as a favor,” as the two BuCor officials revealed that their lives were in danger.
However, De Lima said that her colleagues should have done the same with BuCor officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agent Jovencio Ablen, who claimed that they had delivered to her drug money from inmates through her driver, Ronnie Dayan.
“Senate must always exercise extra caution in accepting and presenting so-called resource persons like Bansil, Buño, Ragos and Ablen who are themselves involved in anomalies and are, quite plainly, ‘planted’ witnesses to suit some sinister motives,” De Lima said.
She added that those who should testify on the anomalies inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) are BuCor officials who are “well-bred” and “not pressured to lie.”
“Ragos and Ablen were already presented as prosecution witnesses in one of the drug cases against me, and duly cross-examined by defense counsels, revealing cracks and falsities in their testimonies, thereby casting serious doubt on their credibility,” she said.
“I don’t know why certain colleagues of mine are still dealing with, and listening to Ragos, providing him further platform to spout lies and appear ‘heroic.’ Are they too naïve to be deluded by such a character and/or his handler/s?” the senator added.
The senator also urged the passage of Senate Bill No. 373, or an enhanced anti-perjury bill, which she filed in the current 18th Congress.
“Truth is too sacred to be sacrificed or trampled upon to serve some selfish personal or political agenda,” De Lima said.
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