Ex-BuCor head Ragos surrenders to NBI

FORMER Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, one of the officials accused of being involved in the illegal drug trading in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), on Sunday surrendered before the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).

According to NBI Director Dante Gierran, Ragos arrived at the NBI before noon.

Ragos is one of the co-accused in one of the drug cases filed against Senator Leila de Lima for being allegedly responsible for the proliferation of narco-trading in the state penitentiary.

In the congress hearing last September, Ragos said he personally delivered to De Lima millions of pesos when she was still justice secretary.

Inmates who testified before the House committee on justice had also accused Ragos of receiving payola from drug lords. Jojo Baligad, one of the inmates, said he gave Ragos money amounting to P400,000 in exchange of favor and protection.

An arrest warrant was issued against Ragos, De Lima, and her ex-driver Ronnie Dayan on Thursday night by Judge Gyerrero of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) branch 204.

Branch 204 is handling Criminal Case No. 17-165 which specifically charged De Lima, Dayan and Ragos for violation of Section 5 (sale) in relation to Section 3 (trading), Section 26 (b) and Section 28 or the criminal liability of government officials and employees under Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The senator appeared on Friday before the court for the return of the arrest warrant. She was detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

Meanwhile, Dayan was placed in the custody of the Muntinlupa City Jail. Dayan will be alone in his detention cell, as he is a high profile detainee. He will also have to provide his own bed, police said.

Separate cases for three counts of drug trafficking were filed against De Lima before the Muntinlupa RTC, which were assigned to three different courts.

The cases for sale and trading of illegal drugs and liability of government officials under Republic Act 9165 (Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act) were assigned to RTC Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero, Branch 205 Judge Amelia Fabros-Corpuz and Branch 206 Judge Patria Manalastas-De Leon.

The first case in Branch 204 include De Lima, Dayan and Ragos.

De Lima is joined by her nephew Jose Adrian Dera in the second case in Branch 205.

Lastly, the third case in Branch 206 is against De Lima, Dera, Dayan, former BuCor chief Franklin Bucayu, his alleged bagman Wilfredo Elli, high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian and De Lima's former bodyguard Jonel Sanchez.

The decision of the DOJ prosecutors to file information against the seven individuals in Muntinlupa RTC on February 17 came after its conduct of preliminary investigation last December on the complaints filed by the NBI, its former executives Ruel Lasala and Reynaldo Esmeralda, the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and Sebastian. (PNA/SunStar Philippines)

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