Former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos affirmed before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court the recantation of his allegations against detained former senator Leila de Lima, Atty. Boni Tacardon, de Lima’s legal counsel bared.
Tacarcdon, quoted by a GMA News report said “for the defense panel, it is very important that he was able to identify his affidavit of recantation and we were able to question him if what he said was true. And he confirmed that all he said were true.”
Ragos has recanted his allegations against De Lima in May, and according to Tacardon, Ragos insisted that he was coerced from the start.
“He also insisted that he was coerced from the start and the coercion was continuous so he just played along because he was concerned about his life, his career, and his family,” Tacardon, quoted in the GMA News report, said. “That’s why he did not talk from 2016 to 2022. He said when he noticed that the power of the person coercing him was weakening, he decided to come out.”
Reports said Ragos was initially expected to affirm his recantation during the September 30 hearing of one of De Lima’s drug cases. However, this was pushed back after the prosecution urged the court to reconsider letting Ragos testify.
Tacardon said De Lima was happy with the development. “Well, for sure senator Leila de Lima is happy. She said this was a chance for the court to evaluate the testimony.”
De Lima’s request for a medical furlough was also approved, the legal counsel said. Tacardon said de Lima “was still feeling the effects from when she was taken hostage in early October.”
De Lima will also get a full checkup at the Manila Doctors Hospital. “Our request was three days but senator Leila said that she will return to the Custodial Center as soon as this is finished,” Tacardon said
De Lima has been detained at Camp Crame since 2017 over her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison.