De Lima Case Witnesses’ Recantations Should Not Be Allowed To Just Get Away

Former Sen. Leila de Lima Allowed to Post Bail after Almost 7 Years of Detention

The witnesses who shifted their initial testimonies that pinned down former Senator Leila de Lima must be investigated.

In 2017, countless headlines mentioned then Senator Leila de Lima who was accused of drug involvement when she was the justice secretary. She headed the Department of Justice (DOJ) during the term of the late former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

Leila de Lima
Photo Credit: BusinessWorld Online

Prior to 2017, De Lima has been investigating certain issues that involved then Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Roa Duterte. After serving as the DOJ Secretary under the Aquino administration, she ran for a seat in the Senate and won.

The senatorial victory of De Lima was in line with the presidential victory of former President Rodrigo Roa Duterte. However, the tides were not smooth between the then Senator and President.

Leila de Lima, Rafael Ragos, Ronnie Dayan
Photo Credit: Abogado

In 2017, several people appeared before the hearings and made testimonies that accused De Lima of drug trade involvement when was the justice secretary. In February of that year, the then Senator was arrested by the authorities for the charges filed against her.

De Lima maintained her innocence and said that it was political persecution to her as an opposition.

Amid the Court proceedings, several witnesses whose testimonies pinned down De Lima recanted their initial statements.

Kerwin Espinosa, former corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, and Ronnie Dayan, the co-accused and former bodyguard of the former Senator were the first three witnesses of the De Lima case to recant their testimonies.

Another one was Marcelo Adorco who claimed that he was coerced to tell lies and he only did so for fear for his life.

There were also reports of two (2) more witnesses, Rodolfo Magleo at Nonilo Arile, wanting to recant their initial testimonies. Magleo reportedly handed the former Senator a letter stating they do not want her to be a victim of mistrial.

Recently, the decision of a Muntinlupa Court judge allowed former Sen. Leila de Lima to post bail. The said bail grant was given after more than seven (7) years of detention. Two (2) of the three (3) drug charges filed against her have been dismissed by the Court.

Although De Lima’s camp believe that the recantation of the witnesses were not the reason behind her bail grant, I believe that the authorities should not just let those recantations get away without shedding light on the issue.

Telling lies before the court is a disrespect to the law. The said testimonies have also been the fuel of the charges that put a then Senator in detention. Those were such extremely unfair moves that could be done to any person whether it is De Lima or not.

It is my humble opinion that such cases of telling lies during hearings should not be tolerated. It needs deep investigation to really carve out the truth behind the motive. If former Sen. De Lima was at fault, she should face the sentence. It must go the same with anyone who was at fault regarding the issue.

Disclaimer: The content of the article posted above is an opinion of the writer. Also, the citations provided are based on the information deemed as facts by the different legit sources that contribute to the basis of the making of the whole viewpoint. The writer does not, in any form, intend to create inaccurate understanding of the topic or influence the readers instead, express one’s viewpoint in a formal manner.

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