House probe with Dayan an embarrassment, says Winnie Monsod

Have you seen how the House probe into the proliferation of the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison went as the lawmakers interrogated Ronnie Dayan, Senator Leila de Lima’s former driver and lover?

Well, economist Solita “Winnie” Monsod said in her Inquirer column just how much of a “complete embarrassment” the House probe on Thursday, November 17, was.

She called the lawmakers’ questions “sophomoric” with them being repeated due to the absence of some lawmakers during some parts of the questioning. She also saw how some members of the House were only after “their five minutes in the glare of the TV camera.

Monsod described the hearing as “pathetic.”

The hearing was launched in aid of legislation over the drug trade at the national penitentiary, but Monsod pointed out how so many of the questions were about Dayan and de Lima’s affair and the widely talked about sex video, despite the Inquirer’s earlier debunking that the video was that of an adult movie.


Monsod also noted how the lawmakers seemed to have established de Lima’s drug activities with the way they were questioning Dayan.

“Then they argued with Dayan over his testimony – not about his love life, which they lapped up – but about why, being that close to De Lima, he didn’t know more about her drug activities. As if it had been established that she had drug activities. Zilch,” she wrote.

Dayan did deny being involved in the illegal drug trade at the Bilibid, belying the testimonies of the many of the convicts earlier in the House probe.

“Good sense would suggest that these testimonies (of the inmates) should be open to question, because most of the inmates are there for long periods, if not for life, under the complete control of the Department of Justice, and they are obviously willing to do or say anything to get some benefits. But no, it was not the testimony of the inmates that were incredible to the House; it was the testimony of Dayan,” Monsod said.

Monsod took note of the “glaring inconsistencies” between the testimonies of Dayan and confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, including when the money was given for De Lima’s campaign and how many times they met and in what years.

Comparing the testimonies, Monsod offered the idea that Espinosa’s could have been the one that was “scripted,” because they were not privy to the details of Dayan’s resignation from De Lima’s security team in January or February 2015.

“Espinosa testified before Dayan was arrested, so no chance to clean up the details? Oops!” she said.

Monsod addressed de Lima’s photo with Espinosa and his wife in Burnham Park.

But thanks to the questions from an unknown congressman, whose name was not provided by the TV stations, the probe had some of its fewer moments of enlightenment. That lawmaker were able to get these facts out there:

“1. He and Espinosa supposedly met at the Mal of Asia, except for the last (November) meeting, Apparently, the two of them decided on Baguio, and also apparently, Dayan could tell De Lima where to go.

2. But Dayan did not have Espinosa’s number, so how could they have coordinated the date and specific place of the meeting? Convulated answer.

3. How did he know when and where to meet at Burnham Park, without communication links with Espinosa? Convulated answer.”


Monsod noted how Dayan held his head, showing that he was then feeling uncomfortable about the questions fired at him and how one congressman commented on how the script did not seem to be in order.

“You know, Reader, in a way, the House did us a favor. Why? Because it had ordered the arrest of Dayan. So, when he was arrested, there was very little time for the Department of Justice officials, such as Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, to talk to him about details. And so, before all of us, all the inconsistencies came out. They will probably fix things in the future. But at least we get an idea how far they are willing to go to transform De Lima in our eyes from an upright, incorruptible election and human rights lawyer to a drug queen,” Monsod wrote.

“Shame,” she concluded her piece.

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