Former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael M. Ragos surrendered yesterday to face the drug trafficking case filed against him before the Muntinlupa City regional trial court (RTC).
Department of Justice (DoJ) Undersecretary Erickson Balmes said Ragos, who is a co-accused of Sen. Leila de Lima in the criminal case, surrendered to the NBI.
Balmes said Ragos will remain detained at the NBI until such time the Muntinlupa RTC would have determined his place of detention.
Earlier, De Lima was arrested and is now detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center in Quezon City. The third accused, Ronnie Dayan – De Lima’s former driver and alleged lover – had been arrested and is now detained at the Muntinlupa City Jail.
Ragos was charged by the DoJ in the first of three counts of cases for sale and trading of illegal drugs. He was also indicted for his alleged liability as a government official under Republic Act No. 9165, the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
He testified against De Lima during the investigation conducted by the House of Representatives on the drugs trade at the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
He said that he delivered millions of pesos on several occasions to De Lima in her house in Parañaque City.
The DoJ was earlier reported to be considering Ragos as a witness. It was not known immediately if the plan to place Ragos as a state witness will push through.
The arrest order against Ragos, De Lima and Dayan was issued by RTC Judge Juanita Guerrero.
“After a careful evaluation of the herein information and all the evidence presented during the preliminary investigation conducted in this case by the Department of Justice, Manila, the Court finds sufficient probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest against the accused Leila de Lima, Rafael Marcos Ragos and Ronnie Palisoc Dayan,” Judge Guerrero ruled.
De Lima has two other criminal cases lodged before the two different branches of the Muntinlupa City RTC.
In Branch 205, De Lima was charged together with her nephew Jose Adrian Vera. In Branch 206, she was indicted together with former BuCor chief Franklin Bucayu, his alleged bagman Wilfredo Elli, high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian, her former bodyguard Jonel Sanchez, Dayan and Vera. (REY G. PANALIGAN)