De Lima hopes incoming DOJ chief Remulla will review her drug cases in Muntinlupa

Published May 25, 2022, 11:00 AM

by Jonathan Hicap

Detained and outgoing Senator Leila de Lima is hoping that incoming justice secretary and Cavite 7th District Rep. Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla will review her drug cases to prove that she is innocent.

De Lima is currently facing two cases in Muntinlupa courts filed by the Department of Justice in 2017 for conspiracy to commit illegal drug trading. One of the three cases was dismissed by a court last year.

Senator Leila de Lima (left) and former BuCor OIC Rafael Ragos at the Muntinlupa Hall of Justice in 2019. (Jonathan Hicap)

“I certainly hope and pray that he would do the right thing,” said De Lima following the recantation of testimonies and affidavits of former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, the key witness in case 17-165, who originally said that he delivered P10 million to De Lima’s residence in Paranaque in November and December 2012.

Ragos executed an affidavit dated April 30 in which he said that all his testimonies against De Lima and her former aide Ronnie Dayan were false.

“I would be grateful to the incoming DOJ Secretary if he will personally go over my cases, and see for himself the grave injustice done to me—how his predecessors have ignored and manipulated the law by their selective prosecution where the convicted Bilibid inmates are practically granted immunity in exchange for falsely testifying against me and the other accused. A genuine, honest-to-goodness review of my cases will reveal the truth of my innocence,” said De Lima.

De Lima has been detained at Camp Crame for more than five years since her warrant of arrest was issued by a Muntinlupa judge in February 2017.

Remulla said he will study De Lima’s cases although he said that “recantations are frowned upon by the courts.”

“Pero pag-aaralan ko po ng husto iyan (I will study them carefully). I would never turn a blind eye to the fact that there may have been abuses. Kung meron talagang mali, itatama natin (If something is really wrong, we will correct it),” he told GMA News.

Last May 6, De Lima asked the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204 to immediately dismiss case 17-165 after Ragos recanted his testimonies.

She filed a manifestation and omnibus motion for “outright dismissal; immediate release; and/or bail ad cautelam” before the court.

The case stated from November 2012 to December 2012, De Lima and Dayan “did then and there decide and agree to commit illegal drug trading, in the following manner: the inmates of the National Bilibid Prison, not being authorized by law and through the use of mobile phones and other electronic devices, willfully and unlawfully traded and trafficked dangerous drugs, and thereafter gave and delivered to De Lima and/through Dayan, the proceeds of illegal drug trading amounting to Five Million (P5,000,000.00) Pesos in 24 November 2012 and another Five Million (P5,000,000.00) Pesos on 15 December 2012.”

The case is based mainly on Ragos’ testimonies and affidavits claiming he delivered P10 million to De Lima.

In his new affidavit, Ragos cleared De Lima and Dayan, and said he did not deliver any money to the senator and that he was coerced by former Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II to pin down the two accused. Aguirre has denied this.