Ronnie Dayan, Senator Leila de Lima's alleged bagman, faced the House of Representatives Thursday, where he read his affidavit and recounted his encounters with self-confessed Eastern Visayas drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa.
A day prior, Espinosa also read his affidavit, exposing the intricate web of characters in his trade, before the Senate inquiry's on his father's killing, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr.
In their statements, they both admitted a connection to De Lima, but gave different statements as to when they first got into contact and how many times they transacted.
WHEN DID THEY FIRST GET IN CONTACT?
- Kerwin said Albuera cop Jovie Espenido told him in August 2015 that an aide of then-Justice Secretary De Lima wanted to talk to him. Later, Dayan called Kerwin to solicit money for the campaign kitty of De Lima in exchange for protecting his drug dealings.
- Dayan, on the other hand, said he first met Kerwin in August 2014.
HOW MANY TIMES DID THEY MEET?
- Kerwin recounted four times when he met with Dayan to hand over money for De Lima.
He said the first time was P2-million, handed to Dayan at a mall in Pasay. The second was P1.7 million given at a restaurant on Macapagal Boulevard in Pasay in October 2015.
The third, he claimed, was when he met De Lima the following month at Burnham Park in Baguio City, as arranged by Dayan. He said he gave a paper bag containing money to Dayan at the park.
Aside from the three instances where he allegedly gave campaign funds for De Lima, Espinosa said he also gave P2.3 million to Dayan last February 2016.
-Dayan, on the other hand, said he received money from Kerwin five times.
Reading his affidavit, Dayan said they first met in August 2014, the second in October 2014, and then the last three were in November 2014.
He recalled, the last time Kerwin handed him money was in the parking lot of Alexandria Residence in Baguio, where Kerwin had been checked in since November 19, 2014. They met up with De Lima, he said, on November 22, 2014.
DRIVING A LEVEL DOWN, CODENAME: 'BATMAN'
Ako-Bicol Party-list Representative Alfredo Garbin Jr., noted in his interpellation, that Kerwin testified in the Senate hearing Wednesday that for his second meeting with Dayan, upon arriving at the fifth floor of the parking building, Dayan called him to meet in the fourth floor instead.
"Yung pinababa ko siya, Sir, yun yung pang-apat na bigayan, hindi pangalawa," Dayan replied.
Garbin also noted that Kerwin claimed he first introduced himself to Dayan as "Batman."
Dayan, however, maintained that Kerwin told him this on their third meeting.
"Hindi niya sinabi sa akin yun, Sir. Yung pangatlo na, [sabi niya] 'Wag mo na lang akong tawaging Kerwin; Batman na lang'," he said.
'IT'S PROBABLY NOT ME'
With a year's gap in their statements, Garbin repeatedly asked Dayan when their transactions really happened--in 2015 as Kerwin claims, or in 2014 as Dayan said.
"2014 po sir," Dayan insisted.
Asked again about Kerwin's claim that it happened in 2015, Dayan said: "Hindi na siguro ako yun, Sir."
He also maintained that their alleged last transaction earlier this year could not have been true because he had already been residing in Pangasinan then.
After Dayan surrendered to authorities in Wednesday, De Lima described Dayan's accusation in a press briefing that she received money from Kerwin as "absolutely untrue," adding that Dayan was being forced to lie against her.
"Ronnie’s claim is absolutely untrue. I don’t know Kerwin and neither does Ronnie. He knows that," she said in her press statement.
She also refuted Dayan's claim, noting that he was no longer under her employ in 2014.
“So how could I have ordered him to get money from Kerwin? Kaya lang, syempre, and as expected, napilitan na rin si Ronnie magsinungaling,” she added.
De Lima also branded as "lies" Kerwin's accusations against her, saying she hopes God would forgive him for what he has claimed.
"May God forgive you for all your sins and may God forgive you for all your lies about me and I forgive you," De Lima said during Wednesday's Senate inquiry.
She also maintained that she did not know Espinosa, and that any story about an alleged meeting between them would be a "total fabrication."
"But let me say to my colleagues here and everyone in this hall and to everyone listening and watching this proceedings, I say this to you: I categorically firmly deny and absolutely deny having known Mr. Kerwin Espinosa," she said.