Sen. Leila de Lima’s former driver-bodyguard on Thursday claimed it was his erstwhile boss who advised him to hide and snub the House justice committee investigation into the proliferation of drugs in the New Bilibid Prison. Current top breaking Philippine headlines regarding the nation, world, metro manila, regions and exclusive special investigative reports.
Sen. Leila de Lima’s former driver-bodyguard on Thursday claimed it was his erstwhile boss who advised him to hide and snub the House justice committee investigation into the proliferation of drugs in the New Bilibid Prison.
In an affidavit he read out during the reopening of the House probe, Ronnie Dayan said he originally wanted to heed the subpoena issued to him by the House of Representatives, but De Lima allegedly discouraged him.
After learning from his sibling that he was being summoned to the inquiry, Dayan said he instructed his daughter to text De Lima about his plan to show up. He said he had her daughter reach De Lima, since his former boss stopped communicating with him.
“Ang reply niya sa anak ko, ‘huwag mo na siyang pa-attend… huwag siyang umattend diyan, pagkakaguluhan lang siya diyan.’ Sabi niyang ganun, ‘pagtatawanan lang kaming dalawa, magiging kahiya-hiya kami diyan na dalawa,” recounted Dayan.
The text message was sent at 6:14 p.m. on October 1, 2016. Dayan disclosed the phone number used to send the message.
“Gustong-gusto kong attendan yung hearing pero ang sabi ni Ma’am sa text niya sa aking anak… ‘Pakisabi sa kanya magtago lang siya…. magtago lang muna siya,” he added.
Dayan said De Lima claimed House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, upon the “dictates” of President Rodrigo Duterte, was behind the investigation on her.
“Pagpasensiyahan lang… pagpasensyahan lang siya at akming dalawa kapag mag-appeal siya… kahiya-hiya, ano… pagpipiyestahan lang siya at silang dalawa kapag nag-appear siya sa hearing,” said Dayan.
That, as it turned out, was the last communication between Dayan’s camp and De Lima. “Nung pangalawa po, pina-text ko, pinatawagan ko, hindi na siya nagre-reply. Nag decide na ako magtago na kasi hindi siya makontak, eh. Hindi na rin niya nirereplyan ang aking anak,” said Dayan.
Daughter testifies, too
Later, Dayan’s daughter Hannah Mae testified before the committee, showing her phone containing the messages she sent over Viber to a certain “TL,” which she later identified as “Tita Lei.”
Tita Lei, she said, is what she calls De Lima, who was her father’s former boss and lover.
Upon verification, Tita Lei’s number turned out to be the senator’s.
Echoing what her father said, Hannah Mae said she got in touch with De Lima on Oct. 1 to ask what her father should do because a subpoena for him had been sent to their house.
Her text message read: “Hi Tita. Good pm po. Mi pinapatanong po si pa. Mo baket da po mi dumating subpwena sakanya at ano daw po gagawin nia?”
In response, De Lima said via text sent at 6:14 p.m. that day: “Pakisabi sa kanya magtago lang muna sya. Kagagawan yan nila Speaker Alvarez at dikta ni Digong. Pinagpiyestahan lang sya at kaming dalawa kapag mag-appear sya sa hearing na yan.”
Hannah Mae then asked the senator: “Hindi naman po ba sya huhulihin kapag hindi siya pumunta?”
De Lima replied: “Di ba nagtatago naman siya?”
After their exchange of text messages on Oct. 1, Hannah Mae said she tried contacting the senator again but did not receive any response from her.
Dayan showed up at the resumption of th House justice panel’s probe in obedience to the subpoena it issued on him last October. He was caught in La Union by police forces last Tuesday. — RSJ, GMA News