Recanting witness Ragos says 'really sorry' to de Lima: 'I got scared' | Inquirer News

Recanting witness Ragos says ‘really sorry’ to de Lima: ‘I got scared’

/ 07:59 PM November 04, 2022
"I am really sorry," ex-BuCor chief Rafael Ragos tells ex-senator Leila de Lima in a brief encounter at a Muntinlupa City court

FILE PHOTO: Former senator Leila de Lima and former BuCor OIC Rafael Ragos (INQUIRER FILES)

MANILA, Philippines — “I am really sorry,” former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos told former senator Leila de Lima in a brief encounter at the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) on Friday.

Ragos was a witness against de Lima in a drug charge before the Muntinlupa City RTC. But he recanted his testimony.


As he testified in court during Friday’s hearing, Ragos said he was coerced into signing prepared affidavits on three occasions in 2016 and 2017 to say that de Lima, a former Justice Secretary, has been receiving bribe money from drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison.

READ: Ragos: I was forced thrice to sign affidavits vs De Lima


The prosecution previously blocked Ragos’ testimony saying it was “untrustworthy and frowned [upon in] our jurisdiction.”

But the court said it would be best to test the witness’ credibility and cross-examine the recanting witness.

READ: Judge in De Lima case allows recanting witness to testify

Atty. Michael de Castro said Ragos told the court that he got scared for his and his family’s safety and career when he was given a warning for hesitating to sign the affidavit.

At the trial break, de Lima was going back inside the court when Ragos standing at the door, told the former senator: “I am really sorry. Natakot talaga ako [I got really scared].”

Ragos accused former Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre of coercing him to sign the affidavit.

Aguirre denied the allegations and said he had a video to prove it.


READ: Aguirre denies coercing Ragos to indict De Lima in Bilibid drug trade

Calling Ragos a “liar,” Aguirre told reporters that a video taken by the Public Attorney’s Office showed the former supposedly testifying freely and voluntarily against de Lima when he made a supplemental affidavit on September 26, 2016.

“Makikita ‘nyo doon sa video na walang pamimilit sa kanya. Siya ang tuloy-tuloy na nag-narrate, nagsasalita. Siya ang nagbigay ng lahat ng nilalalaman noong kanyang supplemental affidavit,” Aguirre told reporters Thursday, November 3, adding that Ragos was even laughing at one time in the video while executing the supplemental affidavit.

(The video showed he was not coerced. He was the one narrating and voluntarily speaking. He was the one who provided all the contents of the supplemental affidavit.)

READ: Another witness retracts accusations vs De Lima, says he was ‘coerced’

Aguirre also said he was not present when the video was taken, and that he came to know of the recording “only a few days ago.”

Aguirre told reporters that he was prompted to answer Ragos’ allegation anew when he heard that the former BuCor chief had affirmed his recantation before the sala of Muntinlupa City RTC Branch 204 Judge Abraham Joseph Alcantara.


Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: court, Leila de Lima, Muntinlupa City, Rafael Ragos
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2023 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.