Ragos and Espinosa must be investigated by DOJ for perjury — Gordon
Senator Richard J. Gordon today said that two key witnesses in the case against Sen. Leila de Lima are liable for perjury after recanting their bombshell testimony.
Gordon, the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights chairman, said that Rafael Ragos and Kerwin Espinosa should be investigated by the Dept. of Justice (DOJ) if they had indeed made false testimony.
“Both persons have already admitted to perjury. Both testimonies contradict each other, and it is very important that the Dept. of Justice [ay] bigla na lang hukayin‘yan para malaman kung talagang may perjury,” Gordon said during a televised interview on Thursday.
“They should go after Ragos, go after Espinosa because these are statements under oath and that is the bedrock of prosecution of cases,” he added.
It may be recalled that Ragos and Espinosa reportedly took a 180-degree turn in their respective testimonies, admitting they were coerced and pressured by former Justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre.
Ragos, a former Bureau of Corrections chief, now denied that he personally delivered drug money to de Lima on two separate occasions in 2012, when the latter served as Justice secretary.
Espinosa, a self-confessed drug lord, claimed recently that the testimony he previously relayed describing drug-related deals with de Lima's driver were false and made under coercion, pressure, and intimidation with the police.
Gordon, a lawyer by profession, also urged the DOJ to expedite its investigation, as it is de Lima's right to enjoy a speedy disposition.
“From the basis of the law, from what I studied. Sen. De Lima is being denied her day in court, prosecuted by spurious witnesses who are not recanting their testimony,” explained Gordon.
“And that is why that the Dept. of Justice immediately step in and conduct an investigation as soon as possible, Otherwise, they should just let her go,” he continued.
Under Republic Act (RA) 11594, which was authored and sponsored by Gordon, Ragos and Espinosa could be incarcerated up to 10 years if found guilty of perjury.
Moreover, Ragos will be slapped with a Php 1 million fine and be perpetually disqualified from holding any appointive or elective positions in government if found guilty.
The law amended Articles 183 and 184 of the Revised Penal Code, which was first enacted in 1930, when the Philippines was a United States colony.