Duterte claims Ragos was offered P15M to recant testimony vs De Lima
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte claimed that former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos was offered money to recant his accusations against detained Senator Leila de Lima.
Ragos earlier alleged that former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II had “coerced him” into testifying against de Lima, who has been behind bars since 2017 over what she branded as “trumped-up” drug charges.
According to Duterte, Ragos may have received only P15 to P20 million for his retirement pay, which he said is meager if Ragos will reach 90 years old.
“Kulang ‘yan. Pagadating mo ng 85, 87, may sakit ka wala ka nang pang-medisina, tapos na ‘yan. Ngayon kung ikaw si Ragos, offer-an ka ng P15 million, saan kunin ni de Lima ‘yong pera? Drug lords,” said Duterte in an interview with Sonshine Media Network International’s Pastor Apollo Quiboloy.
(That is insufficient. When you reach 85, 87 years old, you are sick, that’s it. Now, if you are Ragos, you are offered P15 million, where would de Lima get that amount? Drug lords.)
“Siya ‘yong na-pressure dahil tinutulungan na ‘yan siya ngayon, sigurado. Walang tao na magpunta sa korte to swear the truth, nothing but the truth, tapos mag-recant ka ng ganoon after a few years. Bakit ka magpa—pera-pera ‘yan,” he added.
(He was the one pressured because he was given help for sure. No person would go to court to swear the truth, nothing but the truth, the recant after a few years. It’s all about money.)
Duterte further said that de Lima may be pardoned if Vice President Leni Robredo’s bid for the presidency will be successful.
“Kaya kung manalo si Leni Robredo, pardon ‘yan si De Lima,” he said.
(If Leni Robredo wins, de Lima will be pardoned.)
De Lima, Duterte’s staunch critic, is seeking reelection under the slate of Robredo.
Before Ragos, self-confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa took back his claims against de Lima on the alleged business of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison.
Aside from supporters in the country, senators in the United States called for de Lima’s urgent release following the recantations.