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Witnesses won’t lose jobs

/ 05:33 AM September 25, 2016
Senator leila de lima privilege speech

Sen. Leila de Lima. ARNOLD ALMACEN/INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Incumbent government officials who admit to delivering bribes allegedly to then Justice Secretary Leila de Lima are in no danger of losing their jobs.

Public Attorney’s Office Chief Persida Rueda Acosta said National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Deputy Director Rafael Z. Ragos and NBI agent Jovencio P. Ablen Jr. would continue in their jobs after being granted legal immunity from Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for their appearance at last week’s House committee on justice probe into the proliferation of drugs in the New Bilibid Prison.

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“Any case to be filed against Ragos or Ablen would be junked immediately because of their immunity under the Witness Protection Security and Benefit Act,” said Acosta in a phone interview.

She said the same immunity would be granted to Sgt. Jonel Sanchez, a former security aide of De Lima and a current member of the Presidential Security Group, if he decides to testify against her, this according to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II.

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Aguirre said in a recent television interview that he talked with Sanchez and received “indications” that he would cooperate.

Aguirre explained that the testimony of incumbent government personnel was important in building the case against De Lima because it would show how the campaign funds contributed by convicted drug lords were handed to her.

Convicted drug lord Herbert Colanggo, one to the high-profile witnesses who testified against de Lima and was granted legal immunity by Alvarez, claimed that Sanchez was De Lima’s bagman who delivered their campaign contributions to the then justice secretary.

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TAGS: bribery, Leila de Lima, Persida Rueda-Acosta
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