Aguirre denies forcing Ragos to testify vs De Lima

Robertzon Ramirez - The Philippine Star
Aguirre denies forcing Ragos to testify vs De Lima
Former Sen. Leila De Lima arrives at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204 on September 30, to attend the resumption of the hearing into the drug case filed against her.
Office of Leila De Lima / release

MANILA, Philippines — Former justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday reiterated that he did not coerce former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos to testify against detained former senator Leila de Lima.

According to Aguirre, a video taken by the Public Attorney’s Office showed Ragos supposedly testifying freely, spontaneously and voluntarily against De Lima when he made his supplemental affidavit.

“Makikita ninyo doon na walang namimilit sa kanya. Siya ang tuloy-tuloy na nagsasalita. Siya ang nagbigay ng lahat ng mga contents nung kanyang supplemental affidavit at tumatawa pa siya, walang namimilit,” he said.

Aguirre appeared at the Department of Justice yesterday to respond to Ragos’ claim that he was forced to testify against De Lima.

Ragos said Aguirre, some officials of the National Bureau of Investigation and members of the prosecution panel were present at the meetings where he was told to corroborate the drug allegations against De Lima.

Asked why he did not present the video in court, Aguirre said he was not summoned by the court.

Aguirre said he is ready any time the court asks him to testify.

He said the video was one hour long but he had prepared a 20-minute version.

Last May, Ragos retracted his allegations that De Lima was involved in the illegal drug trade when she was justice secretary.

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