MANILA - Ronnie Dayan, the driver and alleged bagman of Senator Leila De Lima, was urged to go into hiding by the lawmaker, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez claimed Wednesday.
Alvarez said De Lima advised Dayan to go into hiding last August around the same time that President Duterte tagged the former security aide as the senator's alleged link to drug lords detained at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
"Iyun daw ang advise sa kanya ni 'Madame.' Tinanong namin kung sino si Madame, si Senator De Lima daw iyun. Noong August, kung 'di ako nagkakamali," Alvarez told radio DZMM.
Dayan was presented to the media Wednesday afternoon, just hours after he was nabbed in La Union, on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by the House of Representatives after he snubbed their inquiry into the narcotics trade inside the state prison.
Speaking to reporters, Dayan confirmed that he had a seven-year relationship with De Lima that ended in 2014. He also admitted to receiving money from alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa on behalf of the former justice secretary.
Dayan and his family have been placed in the custody of the lower chamber. De Lima's former aide is now recovering from fatigue before he testifies at the House inquiry on Thursday morning, Alvarez said.
"Mukhang may sakit, pagod, 'di na namin siya inabala. Dumating doon, gutom na gutom, pinakain namin. Kasama niya ang buong pamilya niya -- asawa, anak pati mga kapatid," the House Speaker added.
De Lima, for her part, admitted last week her past romantic affair with Dayan, but maintained that she never accepted drug payoffs.
She added that Dayan getting drug money using her name without her permission is "within the realm of possibilities," but said she would have noticed it if it was true.