Umali testifies vs De Lima, says Dayan volunteered text message as proof

RG Cruz, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 29 2017 07:22 PM

Detained Sen. Leila de Lima waves at her supporters as she exits the Quezon City Hall of Justice escorted by her custodians after a hearing on her disobedience to summons case on Friday. Photo courtesy of De Lima's office

MANILA - House Justice Committee Chair Reynaldo Umali on Friday testified against Sen. Leila de Lima during a hearing on her disobedience to summons case and submitted an allegedly incriminating text message as evidence against the detained lawmaker. 

The case stemmed from the claim of De Lima's former lover Ronnie Dayan in a House hearing in November that she had urged him to go into hiding to avoid the legislative inquiry on the alleged narcotics trade inside the state penitentiary.

Umali said the committee secured a copy of the text message of Dayan’s daughter Hannah that supposedly proves that De Lima had told Dayan to skip the House probe.

The actual text message was submitted as evidence.

“Well it came from Ronnie Dayan and the daughter Hannah Mae. They testified and they affirmed it in the committee hearing and the fact that it happened, 'di talaga um-attend si Ronnie Dayan during these invitations or subpoena we issued, is a clear manifestation that it happened," Umali said.

"Ang kinunan namin 'yung cellphone mismo upon the manifestation and request of the majority leader," he added.

The House also filed a similar case against Dayan, according to Umali.

"We also filed a case against Dayan on this. Of course, he might raise 'yung mga issues kasi siyempre incriminatory. We filed it in DOJ (Department of Justice), I do not know what happened to it. It was pretty fresh when we filed it," he said.


Speaking to reporters during a lull in the hearing, De Lima, currently detained on separate drug charges, warned President Duterte against his plan to create a commission that would investigate the Office of the Ombudsman over alleged anomalies. 

The lawmaker said this was a form of intimidation that may be an impeachable offense. She added that Duterte was creating a diversion now that his bank accounts are being investigated by the Ombudsman. 

“Ang hilig hilig niya kasi lumihis ng issue, bakit niya tatakutin ang Ombudsman? That in itself is also impeachable, 'yung ganiyan na papakialaman mo ang trabaho, ang mandato ng isang independent institution," she said.

"Let them do their job at kung wala talaga kasi siyang tinatago, simple lang, kung 'di ka corrupt, sign the waiver. Kung 'di ka miyembro ng triad, ipakita mo ang tattoo. Ganun lang ka-simple," she added.

De Lima was referring to Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte’s refusal to show his tattoo at a Senate hearing on the smuggling of P6.4-billion worth of shabu from China. 

Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV had accused the President's son of being a member of a drug triad involved in smuggling narcotics into the country.