De Lima defends BuCor OIC against graft raps

Posted at 12/27/2012 4:27 PM

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima believes there is an ulterior motive behind the graft charges filed against Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos.

She said the criminal raps filed by Realtime Data Management Services Inc. (RDSMI) could mean a move to discredit Ragos.

“Perhaps they think that OIC Ragos is interested to be [resigned BuCor chief Gaudencio Pangilinan Jr.’s] successor, so they’re now trying to discredit him. What they don’t know is I only asked and convinced him to serve as OIC-Director of BuCor,” she told reporters.

Ragos, also the NBI deputy director for comptrollership, was accused of deliberately withholding payment of at least P14 million (net of withholding taxes) for the services rendered by RDMSI to the National Bureau of Investigation from July to September this year.

De Lima expressed she is backing Ragos on the issue.

“I’m taking that with a grain of salt. I don’t think there’s a legitimate ground of a valid cause of action for such complaint. I believe that whoever is or are behind the filing of such complaint has another agenda,” she said.

The firm, via vice president for external affairs Atty. Orlando Dizon, filed charges versus Ragos for violations of Republic Act No. 3019 (Anti-Graft and Corrupt Practices Act), Republic Act No. 6713 (Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards) and Republic Act No. 9485 (Anti-Red Tape Act) last December 13.

The firm also sought a preventive suspension and the subsequent dismissal from service against Ragos.

“Respondent Ragos calculatingly used his office as the current Deputy Director for the NBI for Comptroller Services for his personal interest and to discriminate RDMSI and with utter disregard of the requirement of highest degree of professionalism when he made the unjustified refusal to release the payments of the billings of RDMSI,” the firm claimed.