NBI man claims money bags sent to De Lima, or to ‘Lola’
National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) intelligence officer Jovencio Ablen Jr. on Tuesday testified before the House of Representatives inquiry that he drove his superior who delivered bags of alleged drug money to Senator Leila De Lima.
During the House of Representatives justice committee inquiry over the proliferation of drugs at the national penitentiary, Ablen said in November 2012, he was told by his superior NBI Deputy Director General Rafael Ragos that they would deliver a P5-million “quota” for “lola (grandmother),” who turned out to be De Lima.
Ablen said he drove Ragos to South Bay Village in Paranaque at De Lima’s residence.
Ablen said he peeked at a bag containing wads of P1,000 peso bill.
Ragos then went down from the vehicle and went to De Lima’s supposed driver and alleged lover Ronnie Dayan, who was waiting across the street at the gate.
Ablen said from the car, he saw Ragos hand over to Dayan the bag of money.
Ablen said from where he was seated, he was able to see De Lima in a duster waiting for Ragos to enter her house.
“Nung papalakad na siya ng bahay, nakita ko sa isang gate nakabukas na po, nakita ko si Ronnie Dayan,” Ablen said.
(When he was walking towards the house, I saw the gate was opened and there was Ronnie Dayan.)
“Inabot po niya ung black handbag, tinanggap naman po ni Ronnie Dayan. Pumasok naman si Deputy Ragos pumunta na po sila dun sa main door, dun ko nakita si Sec. De Lima nakatayo, nag-aabang,” he added.
(He handed the black handbag to Ronnie Dayan [who] received it. Deputy Ragos went inside the main door. There I saw Sec. De Lima, standing, waiting.)
When Ragos got back, Ablen said he was told to keep quiet.
“Wala kang nakita, wala kang alam,” Ablen quoted Ragos as telling him.
(You saw nothing, you know nothing.)
Ablen said a month later, in December 2012, he again drove Ragos to De Lima’s residence to deliver a box of money wrapped in a plastic bag. But he only saw Dayan waiting for Ragos at the gate.
During the trip, Ablen noticed that Ragos looked irritated.
“Nung babyahe na kami, ako na nagtanong, napansin ko na sa harapan. ‘Quota na naman yan sir.’ Parang na-irritate siya, parang pwede ko ba sabihin nung tinanong ko siya. Quota na naman ba yan sir, nairritate siya,” Ablen said.
(When we were on the road, I noticed he’s irritated. I asked if the quota has been met [by De Lima and Dayan], he got irritated.)
“Mataas ang boses niya, ‘Ano pa nga ba, tangina, sila lang meron,’” Ablen quoted Ragos as saying.
“Irritated po siya, hindi na ako kumibo,” Ablen said.
(He raised his voice, saying ‘What else, [sonavabitch], they’re the only ones [receiving money]’. He was very irritated I didn’t bother [him anymore].)
Ragos would also testify against De Lima, who was accused of earning from the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison in cahoots with drug lords.
Earlier during the hearing, Bilibid convict Herbert Colangco testified that he sold drugs in the Bilibid to raise funds for De Lima’s senatorial campaign.
Colangco said he gave De Lima a P3-million quota from the illegal trade. TVJ/rga
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