MANILA – Detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Monday called her former driver-lover Ronnie Dayan one of the “Judases” in her life.
In a dispatch from her cell penned Monday night, De Lima said she considers Dayan, her former aide Joenel Sanchez, former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos, as well as the convicts who testified against her as the “Judases in my life.”
By his own admission, Dayan had a 7-year relationship with De Lima, from the time the Senator was still in private legal practice until she entered government. He is accused of received drug money on De Lima's behalf.
“I know that they went thru their own calvary. They have been subjected to various forms of pressure and machinations in order to pin me down,” De Lima wrote in an apparent Lent-themed reflection her office released Tuesday.
Unlike those who had given "false" testimonies against her, “several others identified with me were similarly accessed and pressured but are apparently made of sterner stuff than those who succumbed.”
She, however, said she has forgiven the men, whose testimonies had landed her in jail.
“Alam ko na nadamay lang naman silang lahat. Kung tutuusin mga biktima rin sila. Kaya pinapatawad ko na sila,” De Lima said.
“In forgiveness, I find peace, inner peace. In forgiveness, I become stronger while my tormentors—those who coached, coerced and induced the false witnesses—become weaker. I commend these sinners to God almighty and offer them mercy.”
De Lima, one of President Duterte's fiercest critics, was arrested on Feb. 24 on non-bailable drug charges.
Cases against her, now pending before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court, were largely based on the testimonies of Dayan, Sanchez, Ragos, and high profile convicts who said she received money from the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons during her time as Justice Secretary to fund her Senate bid.
She has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying they were part of the administration's efforts to exact revenge for her sharp criticism of the President's policies, including the bloody war on drugs.