Ronnie Dayan to De Lima: Stay strong, fight your critics
MANILA, Philippines – His ex-boss and lover Senator Leila de Lima did not contact him while he was in hiding, but Ronnie Dayan still encouraged the embattled senator on Tuesday, November 22, to keep on fighting all the allegations being thrown at her.
“Magpakatatag siya. Labanan niya ang mga [binabato sa kanya] (Be strong. Fight all the things being thrown at you),” Dayan said, referring to De Lima, in a press conference at the House of Representatives on Tuesday night, the second one he had attended following his arrest at La Union hours before.
Dayan had to hide his smile as the audience – composed of reporters, police officers, and ranking congressmen including Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, and House justice panel chairman Reynaldo Umali – teased him for addressing De Lima.
Dayan had admitted having a 7-year affair with De Lima, who is accused of coddling drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and using millions worth of drug money to fund her 2016 senatorial bid, the subject of a House investigation.
Several witnesses, most of whom were high-profile NBP inmates, alleged that Dayan collected drug money for his former boss.
On Tuesday, Dayan denied having links with the drug lords inside the national penitentiary, but admitted he received money from alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa for De Lima.
Dayan had been in hiding in August after no less than President Rodrigo Duterte himself claimed that Dayan and De Lima had an illicit affair and the two were involved in the NBP narcotics trade.
The justice panel issued an arrest warrant against Dayan and also cited him in contempt for failing to appear before congressmen during the hearing on October 6 despite a subpoena.
According to Dayan, he did not receive any word from De Lima while he was hiding from the authorities.
“Hindi siya kumontact sa ‘kin, ma’am. Ni isang text, wala akong na-receive sa kanya,” Dayan replied to a reported. (She didn’t contact me, ma’am. I didn’t receive anything from her, not even a text.)
He added that De Lima also did not send any representatives to talk to him.
He said he had asked one of his children to text De Lima and ask her for financial help because Dayan no longer had money for food.
“Wala. Actually pina-text ko sa anak ko na humingi ka ng financial kasi halos ‘di na ko makakain. ‘Di siya nirereplyan ni Ma’am De Lima,” said Dayan. (Nothing. Actually I asked one of my children to ask her for money because I couldn’t eat anymore. Ma’am De Lima did not reply to my child.)
De Lima had urged authorities to give Dayan and Espinosa the “right treatment” after Dayan was first presented to the media by Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald dela Rosa on Tuesday afternoon.
Fariñas assured De Lima that the House “will treat him (Dayan) nicely.”
Dayan, who had asked the justice panel to grant him immunity like the other witnesses, promised to tell the truth during the re-opening of the House NBP drugs probe on November 24. – Rappler.com
Dayan admits receiving money from Kerwin for De Lima
MANILA – (UPDATED) Ronnie Dayan, Senator Leila de Lima’s former driver, on Tuesday night admitted to receiving money from alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa on behalf of the former justice secretary.
“Kay Kerwin…meron akong natatanggap para kay senadora po,” Dayan said at a press briefing in the House of Representatives.
He said he turned over money from Kerwin to De Lima five times in 2014, or 2 years before the 2016 elections.
“Hindi ko po binibilang magkano inaabot sa akin,” he said, adding the senator must have been aware of what was handed to him.
(I don’t count how much is handed to me.)
“Natural. Sigurado alam niya dahil siyempre titingnan niya iyun,” he said.
(Naturally. I’m sure she knows it’s money because she would have to look inside the package.)
Dayan was arrested by authorities in La Union on Tuesday. He went into hiding after being accused of receiving drug money from Bilibid inmates meant for De Lima’s 2016 senatorial campaign.
But De Lima’s former driver denied being involved in illegal drugs and getting money from crime lords in the New Bilibid Prison as alleged by the convicts who served as witnesses in the House justice committee hearings.
He said he has never even met any of the convicts who claimed to have turned over money to him.
Dayan also said he has never used or sold illegal drugs.
“Talagang ayaw ko ng drugs na ‘yan. Yung pag dawit sa akin sa drugs, gawa-gawa lang yun, hindi po totoo yun” he said.
(I really don’t like drugs. That attempt to link me to drugs, that’s fabricated. That’s not true.)
Dayan is set to testify in the House inquiry on the alleged narcotics trade inside the New Bilibid Prison, where he is expected to ask for immunity from lawmakers conducting the probe.
When asked what prompted him to come forward, he said he’d rather say at the hearing on Thursday.
“Yung mga nagsabi, never ko po nakita yang mga iyan sa Bilibid,” he said.
“Di ko pa po masasagot,” he said.
(I can’t answer that yet.)
Meanwhile, Dayan said he will seek immunity from lawsuit from Congress. House Justice Committee Rey Umali said his panel will take on Dayan’s request.
He encouraged Dayan to speak the truth, adding he will tap the services of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP) in providing legal assistance to Dayan when getting his testimony.
Dayan admitted he still is nervous since he just got arrested and is suffering from some ailments. He added he is preparing to face the hearing on Thursday.
NO CONTACT WITH DE LIMA
Dayan said he has some misgivings with De Lima whom he has not contacted since the controversy about them broke.
Dayan said he heard nothing from the lady senator after he instructed his child to message her for financial assistance.
He said he cannot recall the last time he has talked to De Lima, but hinted this was about the same time the House summoned him to the hearing.
Dayan promised to explain why he went into hiding during the House hearing, but refused to answer whether he will protect De Lima in his testimony.
He also denied receiving any death threats.
House sergeant-of-arms Roland Detabali said he is considering two detention areas at the Batasan Pambansa premises for Dayan, adding he is mindful that he has coughs and colds.
Detabali assured the public Dayan will stay in the premises until further orders from the Committee on Justice. – with a report from Kimberly Jane Tan, ABS-CBN News