Boying: Recantations meaningless unless…

Justice Secretary Jesus Crispin “Boying” Remulla said over the weekend that the supposed recantation by three witnesses of their statements against detained former senator Leila de Lima should be filed in court if they are to have any bearing on the drug charges she is facing.

Likewise, Remulla said the witnesses should testify on the recantations before the Muntinlupa City courts which took in as evidence their original statements against De Lima.

“I’m sorry to say that if there are affidavits of recantations, then they should bring them before the courts and then testify on them. That’s what I’m waiting for,” Remulla said in a mix of English and Filipino in a television interview.

Some of the witnesses said they were only pressured to claim that De Lima, as justice secretary, had her campaign for a senatorial seat funded by drug lords detained at the New Bilibid Prison.

In the complaints against her, it was claimed that the drug lords coursed the money to De Lima through her alleged lover and driver Ronnie Dayan.

“These (alleged recantations) can only have value or bearing if these are filed in court and the witnesses and people who made (the) affidavits will stand as witnesses,” Remulla said.

He said the withdrawal of testimonies against the former senator had not been formalized.

“It’s already four months since the recantations were made public, but up to now there is no affidavit of recantations filed in court,” Remulla added.

The Department of Justice has been urged by lawmakers to withdraw the charges against De Lima on account of the alleged recantations. The former senator is presently detained at the Philippine National Police custodial center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Among those who supposedly withdrew their statements against De Lima were convicted drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa, former Bureau of Corrections chief Rafael Ragos and Dayan.

Ragos said he was coerced by then Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to implicate De Lima. Dayan said a former lawmaker offered him money to make incriminating statements against his alleged former lover.

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