Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) chief Persida Acosta on Sunday clarified that the claims made by one Mike Navallo on his Twitter account last Feb. 10 that she was among those who pressured ex-officer in charge Rafael Ragos of the Bureau of Correction to testify against ex-senator Leila de Lima were “proven false and misleading in a court hearing.”
“Mr. Ragos never made such statement against Chief Acosta when he was presented on court on Feb. 10, and previously in other hearings – as a witness in one of the cases filed against former Sen. De Lima,” her statement read.
“Such false claim, which is not based on the official records of the case, is but a vain and desperate attempt to disparage the reputation of the PAO and to muddle the issues involved in the subject criminal cases. We appeal to everyone to prevent any further spread of this misinformation,” she stressed.
She took a swipe at Ragos for his accusations that PAO lawyers Rigel Salvador and Demiteer Huerta pressured him to make an affidavit and “put words into his mouth” were merely fabricated and a figment of Ragos’ imagination, geared toward making his recantation appear to be convincing and credible.
The only participation of Salvador and Huerta in the execution of Ragos’ two affidavits dated Sept. 5, 2016 and Sept. 26, 2016 was “limited to merely reducing his statements verbatim in writing and administering his oath after confirming the truthfulness and veracity of his allegations against Sen. De Lima, and the voluntariness of his act as evidenced by more or less one-hour video presented in court,” Acosta said.
Ragos earlier recanted his testimony before the Muntinlupa City court on the involvement of De Lima in the illegal drug trade during her stint as justice secretary.