MANILA -- (3rd UPDATE) Former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, who is tagged in the drug charges against Senator Leila de Lima, surrendered to the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) on Sunday.
Ragos surrendered to NBI Deputy Director Sixto Burgos "somewhere in Quezon City" before noon, NBI spokesperson Ferdinand Lavin announced at a press conference.
Ragos, who is also a former deputy director of the NBI, was transferred to a "secure facility" inside the bureau's headquarters, Lavin said.
The bureau and Ragos' camp are both set to seek a court's permission for him to be detained at the NBI on Monday.
"We are requesting that he be allowed to here in NBI, kasi hindi pwedeng isama sa ordinary criminals. Anyway, official namin siya eh," Burgos said.
(We are requesting that he be allowed here in NBI because he can't be detained with ordinary criminals. Anyway, he used to be our official.)
Lavin added: "The lawyer [of Ragos] is also filing a prayer na kung pwede sa NBI siya. So if the judge grants both the motions then he will be kept sa NBI."
(Ragos' lawyer is also filing a prayer if he could be detained at the NBI. So if the judge grants both the motions, then Ragos will be kept at the NBI.)
Last Thursday, the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court ordered the arrest of Ragos for his alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade inside the national penitentiary when De Lima was still Justice secretary.
Also tagged in the arrest order were De Lima, her former driver-bodyguard and estranged lover Ronnie Dayan, former BuCor chief Franklin Jesus Bucayu, De Lima's reported nephew and aide Jose Adrian Dera, Joenel Sanchez, Wilfredo Elli, and Jaybee Sebastian.
Ragos testified in a House inquiry last year that he delivered P10 million in drug payoffs to De Lima and Dayan in separate occasions.
Included in this amount, he said, was P5 million he delivered to Dayan in De Lima's residence in South Bay Village in November 2012. He claimed he saw Dayan hand the bag over to De Lima.
De Lima has repeatedly denied the accusations.
The embattled senator, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, voluntarily surrendered Friday morning, hours after the arrest warrant was issued.
She is now detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center.
Dayan, meanwhile, was placed under the custody of the Muntinlupa City Jail. -- Report from Zhander Cayabyab, DZMM