DOJ chief: De Lima witnesses should be presented in court
Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra on Saturday reiterated that subjecting to court scrutiny the witnesses who had recanted their testimonies against detained Sen. Leila de Lima is still the best way to test their credibility.
“Please note that her cases are already on the trial stage,” Guevarra told reporters.
“The only way to find out if witnesses are lying is to present them in court for intensive examination and cross-examination,” he said.
At this moment, he said, the detained lawmaker could only step out of her detention at Custodial Center in Camp Crame if the court allows her to post bail.
“She tried,” Guevarra pointed out, “but the court denied [her bail petition].”
Guevarra made the remarks after De Lima, a former justice secretary, wrote a letter to the Department of Justice (DOJ) telling the state agency she once headed that it “can no longer afford to continue being blind.”
This after two main prosecution witnesses against her, former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos and self-confessed drug lord Rolan “Kerwin” Espinosa, took back their allegations linking her to the illegal drug trade.
The justice secretary said he has yet to read De Lima’s letter.
“Ultimately, it is the judge who will weigh the truthfulness and probative value of the testimony of witnesses, and will render judgment based on the totality of evidence presented by both sides,” he said. INQ
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