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Gulo ito! NBI officials wary about return to power of witnesses vs. De Lima

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By Nancy Carvajal

Some officials and agents of the National Bureau of Investigation are alarmed over the reported return to power of two of their former colleagues who have turned into witnesses against Senator Leila De Lima.

An NBI insider, who spoke to Politiko on the condition of anonymity, said former deputy director Rafael Ragos and former deputy director for intelligence Reynaldo Esmeralda have been making their presence felt in the bureau lately through regular visits.

“Ragos and Esmeralda claimed they will be reinstated to their previous positions for testifying against De Lima. We’re not in the position to oppose, but we’re worried their return will disrupt the harmony in the bureau,” the insider said.

Sources in the NBI said Ragos has been assigned to the Office of the Director. Esmeralda, meanwhile, is reportedly set to return to his post after being sacked by De Lima over corruption allegations.

Ragos had claimed that he delivered money from drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) to De Lima through her former aide, Ronnie Dayan.

Sources said Ragos continued to receive his salary as an NBI official even after he left the bureau and placed under the Witness Protection Program.

De Lima slammed the rumored return of Ragos and Esmeralda. In a statement, she said she was “sure” the two NBI officials’ colleagues also didn’t want to have them back.

“This is how desperate my prosecutors are. They don’t mind striking deals with convicted felons and other rotten characters like Ragos, just to ensure my conviction,’’ the senator said.

While Ragos and Esmeralda are set to return to power, a source laments that NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin and Deputy Director for Administration Rachel Angeles are still serving in an acting capacity as President Rodrigo Duterte has yet to sign their appointment papers.

“These two deputy directors are hardworking with integrity and competent, They also rose from the ranks and yet it has been more than three years, until now wala pa rin,’’ the source said.

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