Despite Senator Leila de Lima’s assertion of conspiracy regarding the retraction of a former jail officer on his testimony that she was involved in the illegal drug trade has minimal effects on her two pending cases.
“The testimonies of the witnesses presented by the prosecution are enough to pin and prove the charges against accused Senator de Lima and Ronnie Dayan,” the Department of Justice (DOJ) said in a statement Monday.
DOJ was reacting to former Bureau of Corrections Officer-In-Charge Rafael Ragos April 30 withdrawal of his original statement, in affidavits dated Sept. 5 and 26, 2016 and March 2017, pertaining to the delivery of bribe to the then-Department of Justice (DOJ) chief de Lima and her aide, Ronnie Dayan.
The DOJ reminded de Lima that “recanted testimony is exceedingly unreliable, for there is always the probability that it may later be repudiated. Courts thus look with disfavor at affidavits of retractions of testimony given in open court, and are wary or reluctant to allow a new trial based on retracted testimony”.
According to a DOJ statement late Monday, Ragos merely contradicted himself with respect to his recantation and will not affect the testimonies of the other witnesses presented before the Regional Trial Court in Muntinlupa City where he gave his testimony, and where the demurrer to evidence filed by de Lima was denied.
“In all of the foregoing instances, there was no mention of coercion or intimidation,” the statement read.
The DOJ will present more witnesses in a hearing on May 16.
“Prior to Ragos’ retraction, self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa also exonerated de Lima in relation to the illegal drug trade.
The DOJ said Espinosa was never a witness in de Lima’s cases.
Meanwhile, de Lima said: “I hope it is now clear to the Filipino people that the false charges for illegal drug trading filed against me by the DOJ were the product of a long-standing conspiracy.”
Source: Philippines News Agency