2 more witnesses retract testimonies in drug case vs De Lima | Inquirer News

2 more witnesses retract testimonies in drug case vs De Lima

/ 07:25 PM October 16, 2023

Leila de Lima

Former Senator Leila de Lima (INQUIRER FILE PHOTO)

MANILA, Philippines – Two more witnesses against detained former Senator Leila de Lima retracted their testimonies, saying they were bothered by their conscience.

“We are recanting our testimonies for several reasons with the primordial objective–to help you both to be set free,” former police officers Rodolfo Magleo and Nonilo Arile said in a letter to de Lima and her co-accused, former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Franklin Bucayo.


Both de Lima and Bucayo are at the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police (PNP).


Magleo and Arile said they have been planning to recant their testimonies as early as 2018, “but due to impossibility of communication, we are not able to do so.”

“We are bothered by our conscience. We do not want you to be victims of a mistrial,” the two said, promising to reveal “in due time” relevant information about the remaining case against the former senator.

“We are assuring you all that the last case will be dismissed,” they said.

Magleo, a former police chief inspector, was convicted of kidnapping. He testified that de Lima was paid millions to extend special treatment to convict Jaybee Sebastian, who was purportedly controlling drug transactions in Bilibid.

Arile, who served as a government asset, testified that he had provided the police with information on illegal drug transactions inside the prison that led to the “Oplan Cronus” by the Philippine National Police-Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG).


Oplan Cronus was supposed to be an operation to conduct a massive raid inside Bilibid, but did not push through because it was blocked by de Lima.

The two have been transferred to the Sablayan Prison and Penal Farm in Occidental Mindoro.

They said five more state witnesses “whom we had convinced to do so “will also recant their testimonies.

They urged de Lima to send her emissaries.

“We assure you of our cooperation and commitment,” read the letter.

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A copy of the letter was received and certified by the Clerk of Court of Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 206 which handles de Lima’s remaining drug case.

Other witnesses against de Lima who recanted include former BuCor OIC Rafael Ragos and confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa.


TAGS: case, Drugs, Leila de Lima, Witness

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