MANILA - The Department of Justice (DOJ) has not yet given up on Ronnie Dayan and will still try to get him to spill "the whole truth" about his and former boss and lover Senator Leila de Lima's participation in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) illegal drug trade.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Dayan is set to be interviewed and his statement evaluated next week, the earliest on Tuesday, by the department's Witness Protection Program (WPP) as part of the requirements for full admission into the program.
"Ang akin lamang, marami siyang inililihim, marami siyang itinatago. I don't know for what reason, kasi kapag sinabi lang niya lahat ng totoo, tutal sa WPP magkakaroon siya ng immunity from prosecution, kaya wala siyang dapat ikatakot sa anumang kaso na ifafile sa kanya," he said.
(For me, he is hiding many things. I don't know for what reason because if he reveals the truth, since he is under the WPP, he will have immunity from prosecution so he need not fear any case that may be filed against him.)
"Ayaw niya magkaroon ng testimony na posibleng may admission niya o confession nya. Pero 'pag yan ay napaliwanagan na, basta ang kanyang sasabihin ay katotohanan and will earn him immunity, wala nang dapat ikatakot si Ronnie Dayan," Aguirre said.
(He doesn't want any testimony that can possibly have his admission or confession. But if he gets to understand that as long as he says the truth and that it will earn him immunity, Ronnie Dayan has nothing to fear anymore.)
Aguirre believes this is the reason why Dayan's testimony in Thursday's House of Representatives Justice Committee hearing was limited. Dayan fears it would incriminate him in light of charges of drug trafficking already filed before the DOJ against him, De Lima, and several others.
Dayan only admitted receiving money from Kerwin Espinosa, a self-confessed illegal drug distributor, upon orders from De Lima, on her behalf.
Since the affidavit Dayan executed for purposes of the congressional hearing was without the participation of the DOJ's WPP, Aguirre said Dayan will be asked to execute another affidavit before WPP representatives when he returns to Manila from Pangasinan.
And while Dayan is already under WPP provisional coverage, his full admission into the program will depend on this new affidavit.
Dayan has denied instructing NBP high-profile inmates to sell huge volumes of drugs to fund De Lima's senatorial bid, and debunked witness testimonies alleging he received millions in drug payoffs on behalf of De Lima.
"Yung sinasabi niyang wala siyang tinatanggap, posibleng magbago siya. Kung magbago siya, we will evaluate and admit him. But of course, hindi natin malalaman yan sa ngayon. Intayin natin ano kalalabasan ng kanyang evaluation," Aguirre said.
(What he's saying that he does not receive anything, that may change. If it changes, we will evaluate and admit him. But of course, we will not know that now. We will wait for the results of his evaluation.)
Aguirre maintains that Dayan's testimony is material in the pending charges before the DOJ, and downplays inconsistencies in his testimony before the congressional inquiry.
"Hindi naman lahat ng inconsistencies will disqualify you [as a witness], as a matter of fact, maraming decisions sa Korte Suprema na minor inconsistencies maaaring yan ay patunay pa na nagsasabi siya [the witness] ng katotohanan," Aguirre said.
(Not all inconsistencies will disqualify you [as a witness], as a matter of fact there are many decisions in the Supreme Court that have minor consistencies which may prove that the witness is saying the truth.)
The justice chief justified Dayan's provisional WPP coverage, saying the decision was made for Dayan and his family's protection.