MANILA (UPDATE) – Senator Manny Pacquiao on Monday called on the Senate to cite in contempt Ronnie Dayan, the former driver-aide and lover of Senator Leila de Lima, for supposedly being evasive in his answers over his links to the drug trade.
Pacquiao accused Dayan of being selective in his answers, particularly about the people he supposedly dealt with during his stint as De Lima’s aide.
“Nararamdaman ko sa mga sagot mo, pinipili mo lang ang taong babanggitin mo. Pero nararamdaman ko sa mga mata mo, pananalita mo na may mga tinatago ka pa na hindi binabanggit na mga taong pinagkukunan mo ng pera,” Pacquiao told Dayan at a Senate hearing.
Dayan has given a blanket denial to accusations that he received drug money from high profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prison for De Lima’s senatorial campaign.
He has only admitted to receiving a total of P8 million from self-confessed drug trader Kerwin Espinosa on behalf of De Lima. Even then, Dayan said he was also not aware that Espinosa was a drug personality when he dealt with him.
Pacquiao, however, was incredulous, saying it was impossible for Dayan to only deal with Espinosa, who came all the way from Leyte, when there are other influential drug lords in Manila.
“Si Kerwin nga, taga-Leyte, malayong lugar, ano pa kaya dito sa Maynila?” Pacquiao told Dayan. “Paano naming maisip iyan na maniwala kami sa iyo? Eh dito sa Maynila mas marami dito.”
He also slammed Dayan for flip-flopping. Dayan has previously said that he did not have the contact number of Espinosa, only to admit today in the Senate that he had the drug trader’s number.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order, said there is jurisprudence that will back the citing of Dayan in contempt for being evasive.
Upon Pacquiao’s prodding, Dayan also admitted that he got “suhol” (bribes) from former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) chiefs Rafael Ragos and Franklin Bucayu for supposedly recommending their appointments to De Lima.
Dayan also admitted that he was wrong when he said that his Baguio meeting with Espinosa happened in 2014.
Espinosa had earlier insisted that he met Dayan four times in 2015, while Dayan said his exchanges with Kerwin happened five times in 2014.
One of the meetings was in Baguio, which Dayan has previously said took place on November 19, 2014.
But during the hearing, Senator Richard Gordon confronted Dayan with a photo of De Lima and Espinosa in Baguio dated November 19, 2015.
Gordon then showed the photo of De Lima and Espinosa juxtaposed with that of another photo of the then-Justice secretary, showing her wearing the same dress in the same location, also dated November 19 2015.
At this point, Dayan backtracked on his statement that his and De Lima’s Baguio meeting with Espinosa happened in 2014.
“Nakita mo dyan nakalagay November 19, 2015. Naaalala mo na?” Gordon asked Dayan, who replied in the affirmative.
“So 2015?” Gordon again asked. “Opo your honor, 2015,” Dayan replied.