MANILA - Ronnie Dayan, the former driver of Senator Leila De Lima, claimed Thursday that his former employer urged him to go into hiding to avoid a House of Representatives inquiry on the alleged narcotics trade inside the state penitentiary.
Dayan said that when his sister received a subpoena summoning him to the House probe, he asked his daughter to contact De Lima because the senator was not replying to his text messages.
He said he wanted to attend the investigation, but De Lima -- whom his family allegedly calls "Tita Lai'" -- told his daughter that he should go into hiding.
"Sabi ko sa anak ko, i-text mo iyan kasi tuwing negte-text ako, hindi na siya nag-rereply kasi eh, kaya itong mga anak ko pina-text ko. Ang reply niya sa anak ko, 'Huwag mo siyang pa-attend... Huwag siyang umattend diyan, pagkakaguluhan lang siyan diyan. Sabi niyang ganun, 'Pagtatawanan lang kaming dalawa, magiging kahiya-hiya lang kami diyan na dalawa,'" he said.
"Gustong-gusto ko pong attendan iyung hearing pero ang sabi ni Ma'am sa text niya sa aking anak na si Hannah Mae Dayan: 'Pakisabi sa kanya magtago lang siya... Papipiyestahan lang siya at silang dalawa kapag nag-appear siya sa hearing.'"
His daughter, Hannah Mae Dayan, also read the text which she allegedly got from de Lima last October 1, 2016.
House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas said the text allegedly from De Lima is "bordering on obstruction of justice and contempt" for interfering in the proceedings.
Before he was arrested in La Union last Tuesday, Dayan disappeared from his residence in Urbiztondo, Pangasinan.
An arrest warrant was issued against Dayan after he failed to appear in a House inquiry on the alleged narcotics trade inside the national penitentiary, where several witnesses said De Lima asked convicted crime lords to sell drugs to beef up her campaign kitty for the 2010 senatorial elections.
Dayan's arrest came a week after the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption offered P1 million for information on his whereabouts.
Watch his testimony at the House probe here.