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De Lima to VACC: Truth will prevail amid blatant lies peddled by perjured witnesses



Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has downplayed the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption's (VACC) claim that its case against her is strong, saying the truth will eventually prevail amid the lies being peddled by perjured and intimidated witnesses.

"How can the VACC claim that its case against me is strong, considering that the accusations against me are all made up and mere product of fantasy of this administration. It's pure fiction!," De Lima said.

"Hinding-hindi masasabing matibay na ebidensya ang mga kasinungalingan! Sa huli, malaki ang tiwala ko na mananaig pa rin ang katotohanan sa gitna ng mga lantarang kasinungalingan ng mga tinakot at ginipit na saksi laban sa akin," she added.

In her earlier statements from detention, De Lima noted the conflicting testimonies given by two prosecution witnesses - former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer in charge Rafael Ragos and former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) agent Jovencio Ablen, Jr.

According to De Lima, Ragos has accused Ablen of involvement in the illegal drug trade while the latter accused the former BuCor OIC of receiving "tara" from drug convicts. The two had a falling out when Ablen was suspected by Ragos of pocketing PhP1 million from a New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) caterer.

De Lima, the staunchest critic of Mr. Duterte and his sham campaign against illegal drugs, pointed out that both Ablen and Ragos agreed to testify against her to save their own skin and for their retention as NBI official and agent, respectively.

"Sila kasi dapat ang kakasuhan dahil sa mga kalokohan nila. Tinakot sila ng mga operators na trumabaho sa pagpeke ng mga kaso laban sa akin," De Lima said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 534 she issued last June 17.

"The accounts of these two so-called witnesses about alleged deliveries of cash to my residence never happened. They know it's absolutely untrue," she said.

She added that, hopefully, in due time, or when the right environment for truth-telling sets in, the whole nation will know that these perjured witnesses, including the inmates-witnesses, will tell us the real reason for agreeing to be part of this grand conspiracy of lies against her.

Also, De Lima criticized the government for including Ragos and Ablen under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ) despite their shady backgrounds.

"Imagine, these scalawags are receiving government protection using government resources and continue receiving their salary and other benefits," she pointed out.

"The irony is that the very handlers of Ragos and Ablen, or the ones ostensibly giving them protection, are the very same forces who can do real harm to them. These two bastards need to stick to their fabricated story about my alleged receipt of drug money in order for them to stay alive. For self-preservation. Survival. A most basic human instinct,' she added.

For being a vocal critic of Mr. Duterte, the administration has filed trumped-up charges against De Lima in an effort to prevent her from speaking up against the abuses and extrajudicial killings happening in this regime.

De Lima has maintained her innocence from all charges filed against her, including the charge filed by VACC, with Ferdinand Topacio as its counsel, before the DOJ, and now before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 205 presided by Judge Liezel Aquiatan.

She has filed a motion to include as among those accused in the Information the prosecution's 13 witnesses who are all convicted of crimes involving moral turpitude, and therefore, are not qualified to become state witnesses against her.

www.senate.gov.ph