Former Senator Leila de Lima must be freed immediately, Cagayan De Oro 2nd district Rep. Rufus Rodriguez said.
This, after a Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) allowed ex-Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge (OIC) Rafael Ragos to testify. Ragos previously recanted his testimonies alleging De Lima’s ties to the illegal drug trade.
“The prosecution has failed to support with enough evidence the drug charges it has filed against the former senator. It’s time for it to withdraw the complaint so that former Sen. De Lima could be freed immediately,” Rodriguez said on Friday, Oct. 21.
Ragos was formerly set to testify last Sept. 30, but the prosecution moved to block Ragos’s testimony.
“What is the prosecution afraid of? They should test Mr. Ragos’ retraction in an open hearing by grilling him. Do they fear that Mr. Ragos would survive their questioning and his recantation would be strengthened?” the former law dean asked.
"An embarrassment for prosecutors who have tried to block the appearance of the witness in court," is how Rodriguez described the motion to snuff Ragos' testimony.
Self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and De Lima’s aide Ronnie Dayan both similarly recanted their testimonies versus De Lima.
“ Secretary Jesus Crispin Remulla would not lose face but would instead reap praise if he orders the immediate withdrawal of the complaint to allow Atty. De Lima to enjoy her freedom and her rights again,” he concluded.
De Lima has been under police detention since 2017.