Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. urged the public not to rush Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Menardo Guevarra who vowed to review the remaining evidence against detained outgoing Senator Leila de Lima, even as the country’s top diplomat vouched for the integrity of his fellow Cabinet member.
“Don’t rush him. This is a man of more integrity and intelligence than all of the rest of the Filipino nation,” Locsin said, in his Twitter account in urging the public to give Guevarra and the Department of Justice more time to go over De Lima’s case.
Locsin made the statement after Guevarra said that the DOJ would be examining the remaining evidence against De Lima following the recantations of witnesses who had linked her to the illegal drug trade.
“He was my fallback; the result: no mistakes; all successes. He turned down the Supreme Court to keep serving our country in real terms,” Locsin said.
It can be recalled that former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos recanted his testimony against De Lima. He had claimed to deliver money to her at her home as instructed by a convict in 2012. He also contended that then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre threatened him and that all his allegations against de Lima were “all fiction, false and fabricated.”
Self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa retracted his accusations against the jailed senator as he was “coerced, pressured, intimidated, and seriously threatened” to make such statements. Espinosa initially claimed to have paid De Lima payout drug money through her bodyguard Ronnie Dayan.
Last month, Malacanang said it would let the courts evaluate the pieces of evidence against de Lima.
Guevarra insisted that these witnesses who retracted their statements should be submitted to the court’s clarificatory hearings to determine whether they are actually telling the truth or were just influenced by outside forces to compel them to recant their previous sworn affidavits.