Amid claims that he forced former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos to testify against detained former senator Leila de Lima, former Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre on Thursday said he has a video showing otherwise.
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.
“[M]akikita ninyo doon na wala siyang, 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 in an ambush interview.
(You will see that no one was forcing him. He was voluntarily talking. He provided the contents of his supplemental affidavit and he was even laughing. No one was forcing him.)
“Makikita ninyo diyan kung gaano ka-free, kung gaano ka spontaneous, kung gaano ka voluntary ang pagbigay ng statement, supplemental affidavit ni Ragos,” he later said.
(You will see how free, how spontaneous, how voluntary Ragos was when giving statement for his supplemental affidavit.)
When asked why he did not present the video to court, Aguirre said this was because he was not summoned by the court.
“Ngayon sinasabi ninyo bakit hindi sa korte? Eh, hindi naman ako pinapatawag ng korte. Ikalawa, hindi pa ito pagkakataon na magpresenta ng witnesses ng depensa kaya hindi ako maaaring mag-testigo din ngayon unless ipatawag nila ako,” he said.
(Now you’re asking why I did not present this in court. The court did not summon me. Second, this is not the chance for the defense to present witnesses so I cannot testify unless they call for me.)
He said the video was one hour long but he had prepared a 20-minute version.
Aguirre said he was prompted by his friend to answer the allegations anew after he heard that Ragos had affirmed the recantation of his allegations before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court in October.
Ragos had recanted his allegations in May, claiming that he was threatened by Aguirre into making false allegations.
The former Justice secretary denied this anew.
“Gusto kong pabulaanan. Sapagkat ang sabi sa akin nung ibang mga kaibigan ko, uy sagutin mo ‘yung mga akusasyon ni Ragos na pinilit mo raw siya at kaya siya’y— diniin niya si secretary De Lima… hindi maganda sa iyo ‘yan,” he said.
(I want to deny this. My friends told me to answer the accusations of Ragos that I forced him to testify against De Lima… they said it is not good for me.)
For his part, Aguirre said he is ready anytime the court asks him to testify.
“Oo, anytime. Sapagkat alam ninyo naman ako, basta mga ganyan, hindi tayo natatakot diyan (Yes, anytime. Because you know me, I’m not scared of things like this),” he said.—AOL, GMA News