2 state witnesses to retract accusations vs. de Lima
2 state witnesses to retract accusations vs. de Lima
2 state witnesses to retract accusations vs. de Lima
by Ellicia Del Mundo17 October 2023

Two more state witnesses had expressed their desire to retract accusations against detained former Senator Leila de Lima, who is presently facing her third and last illegal drugs case.

In a handwritten letter dated Oct. 12 and addressed to de Lima, former police chief inspector and convicted kidnapper Rodolfo Magleo claimed that he and fellow witness former Philippine National Police (PNP) officer Nonilo Arile had been planning to "recant as early as 2018."

"But due to the impossibility of communication, we were not able to do so. We are bothered by our conscience," he added.

Magleo said that they do not want de Lima to become "a victim of mistrial", and that they assume that her last drug case at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 206 "would be dismissed" with the help of their recantation.


The former police chief inspector suggested that the former Senator send her lawyer-emissaries to Nasugui, Sablayan Prison, and Penal Farm, Occidental Mindoro "ASAP" or as soon as possible.

"Five more state witnesses will follow after our recantation, whom we had convinced to so. Please act ASAP. We assume your cooperation and commitment," he said.

The handwritten letter was signed by both Magleo and Arile, and was certified by RTC Branch 206 Clerk Atty. Jenny Reyes-Carag.


In 2016, Magleo testified that drug trading inside the National Bilibid Prison (NBP) intensified when de Lima became the Justice Department Secretary. He also professed that de Lima had direct drug transactions with late NBP gang leader Jaybee Sebastian.

Arile, meanwhile, testified that Sebastian collected drug money and handed these to de Lima in a bid to fund her campaign for the 2016 election.

In May 2022, Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) former officer in charge (OIC) Rafael Ragos who previously testified against de Lima recanted his statement and claimed that he was threatened by former justice secretary Vitaliano Aguirre to invent such stories.

Aside from Ragos, three witnesses also retracted their previous statements against the detained former lawmaker, including self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, Ronnie Dayan, and Marcelo Ardecoro.

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