MANILA - House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez conceded on Monday something was not right with how his colleagues questioned Ronnie Dayan, particularly about the details of his past romantic relationship with his former boss, Senator Leila de Lima.
Several lawmakers drew flak for their questions to Dayan about his affair with De Lima, which some critics deemed unnecessary and bordering on sexual harassment.
Alvarez admits something was wrong with the questions but appealed for understanding for his colleagues.
“Opo, pero medyo may konting hindi tama doon. Kaya lang, siyempre, unawain din natin na doon sa sitwasyon na iyon ay tao rin naman yung mga congressman, minsan nakakalimot,” Alvarez said.
During the hearing, Dayan admitted to delivering a package supposedly containing money to De Lima five times. He said the package came from self-confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa.
Dayan said he did not know that Espinosa was a drug trader at the time he was delivering the packages. He also denied accusations that he received drug money from several inmates at the New Bilibid Prison.
Alvarez still sought to justify the line of questioning, which has drawn flak for its supposed misogyny. He instead pointed out what he believes is hypocrisy on the part of De Lima.
"Kung talagang titingnan mo yung kabuuan, mayroon pong koneksyon iyan. Dahil here is a woman who is pretending herself to be clean, tapos kunwari righteous, graft-buster, crime-buster, tapos eto ngayon,” he said.
“Ngayon, paano mo ngayon idedemolish yung credibility niya? So ipapakita mo yung kabuuan ng kanyang pagkatao. Ngayon, dito makikita na talagang gumagamit siya ng mga subordinates niya. Kagaya halimbawa ni Dayan, ginamit niya na taga-tanggap ng pera, tiga-kuha ng pera.”
Alvarez said, the questions also sought to establish the character of De Lima as a “serial liar”.
“Siyempre gusto nating patunayan na itong taong ito ay talagang nagsisinungaling. Itong taong ito ay isang serial liar. Kailangan i-presenta mo sa taong bayan yung kabuuan ng kanyang personalidad, kung anong klaseng tao siya,” he said.
Alvarez, however, admitted he has some misgivings about Dayan's credibility.
"Opo, kung talagang nagsasabi siya ng totoo. Ganoon naman talaga, yung witnesses, talagang sina-subject mo iyan sa iba't ibang klaseng katanungan upang sa ganoon ay makikita mo kung consistent ba o hindi,” he said.
Alvarez also believes Dayan did not spill the whole truth.
“Napansin ko din iyan, ngunit tinitingnan ko nga, dahil siguro gusto pa rin nilang isalba yung sarili nila doon sa sitwasyon dahil nga alam naman nila na mayroong kaakibat na criminal liability,” he said.
Still, Alvarez believes the House was able to secure a lot of key details from the hearing. He, however, was cold to the prospect of re-inviting Dayan to the House.