On Thursday, Senator Leila De Lima’s former driver and bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan revealed that it was the senator who instructed him to go into hiding and refrain from testifying at the House probe regarding illegal drug operations in the New Bilibid Prison.
In a four-page sworn affidavit, Dayan stated that De Lima gave out an order to skip the hearings even with a subpoena and hide instead.
According to Dayan, he had wanted to attend the House probe at first and had requested that his daughter, Hannah Mae, notify De Lima on his decision.
“I-text mo si Madam, kunin mo yung opinion niya kasi dumating na yung subpoena, napirmahan ng auntie mo. Sabihin mo a-attend ako,” Dayan recounted.
This was on the same day Dayan’s sister, Elmita Torreta, received the police’s subpoena in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.
De Lima’s alleged reply to the text message was, “Huwag siyang umattend diyan, pagkakaguluhan lang siya diyan,” claimed Dayan. “Pagtatawanan lang kaming dalawa, magiging kahiya-hiya kami diyan na dalawa.”
In another text message purportedly from De Lima, “Pakisabi sa kanya, magtago na lang muna siya.”
The text message also mentioned that this was all schemed by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’ through the order of President Rodrigo Duterte.
Hannah Mae was asked by Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas to reveal the messages to the media wherein the sender was shown as “TL”. This stands for “Tita Lai” or how Hannah Mae refers to De Lima. In addition, other members of the House confirmed that the number was in fact De Lima’s.
Dayan disclosed that De Lima did not reply to his messages which is why he asked his daughter to relay his message. However, when the senator stopped replying even to Hannah Mae, Dayan decided to hide until he got arrested in La Union on Tuesday.
With his capture, officials are expecting Dayan’s testimony to help tie up loose ends in the ongoing House probe on drug trade in the Bilibid. A number of witnesses have named Dayan as bagman of De Lima, who supposedly accumulated money from the drug lords inside the prison for her senatorial campaign.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre is considering to file charges against De Lima, “The law violated by Sen. De Lima is the Rules of Court in contempt. It is an obstruction of justice on the part of the Senator.”
De Lima continues to be a no-show in the hearings as she also skips the Thursday probe.