PHILIPPINE National Police agents yesterday arrested Senator Leila de Lima’s former driver and confirmed lover Ronnie Dayan in his hiding place in San Juan, La Union.
He claimed they became estranged after they had a “lover’s quarrel” over his wearing a Duterte baller during the last presidential election making today’s Senate testimony of suspected Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa much more exciting.
Journal Group sources privy to Dayan’s arrest said that during initial questioning, Dayan claimed that during their last meeting prior to the May election, De Lima slapped him after she saw him wearing a Duterte baller and berated him for allegedly using her money to support then leading presidential candidate, Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.
The place where Dayan was arrested is located in a remote rice field and far from a house in Bgy. Lacong in San Gabriel, La Union where he initially hid after his name cropped up during a House investigation into the drug racket at the national penitentiary.
Pangasinan police director Senior Superintendent Ronald O. Lee brought with him Dayan’s legal wife and two siblings to convince him that nothing bad will happen to him if he yields peacefully.
Dayan, the man whom Sen. de Lima confirmed to have once became her “driver-lover” for several years was immediately taken to the La Union police headquarters for documentation before being escorted by CIDG and Police Regional Office 1 operatives to the PNP national headquarters in Camp Crame for safekeeping before being turned over to the House Committee on Justice which ordered him arrested for snubbing a congressional inquiry on the big-time illegal drug trafficking activities inside the National Bilibid Prisons.
According to Pacquiao another of his and his father’s big protectors was Superintendent Marvin Marcos, the erstwhile head of the 8th Regional Criminal Investigation and Detection Unit who led the raid at the Leyte sub-provincial jail in Baybay City where Kerwin’s father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. was killed in a reported gunbattle which Kerwin said was actually a “rubout.”
Pacquiao said that Kerwin identified Marcos as one of the Eastern Visayas policemen who benefited from the illegal drug trade. Marcos was one of the 24 PNP-CIDG and PNP Maritime Group officers and men ordered transferred to the PNP Personnel Holding Administrative Unit in Camp Crame as a result of the Congress and PNP investigation into the deadly Leyte prison raid.
“Ang sabi niya, yung si Marcos [sic] kinausap daw siya dahil tumatakbo daw yung misis, and then hiningian siya ng P3 million,” Sen. Pacquiao told ANC. ”Hiningian siya ng P3 million, and then nagtawaran pa. Malaki ata ang P3 million. Sabi niya P2.5[million] lang. And then hindi talaga P2.5[million] ang naibigay kundi P1.5 [million] lang muna pauna,” the boxing icon-turned lawmaker added.
Pacquiao said he was told by Kerwin that his late father was the one who handed the money to Marcos while he just stayed in their car to prevent other people from seeing him. “Hindi na siya bumaba kasi baka maraming makakita,” he said.
Marcos had previously denied that the elder Espinosa begged for his life before he was shot dead. He also said that Kerwin mentioned other elected officials as having links with the illegal drug trade in the region but he did not mention the name of actor-turned Ormoc City Mayor Richard Gomez.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez wants Dayan to testify before the House Committee on Justice.
It was the House of Representatives who ordered the arrest of Dayan after he repeatedly refused to appear in the legislative hearings on the alleged drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.
“That’s good news, dapat dalhin siya sa Committee on Justice to testify,” Speaker Alvarez said when asked to comment on Dayan’s arrest.
Dayan was named by the witnesses mostly NBP inmates as the one accepting money from drug operations in behalf of the Senator.
According to Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas, they will make arrangement with the police to bring Dayan in the House of Representatives.
“He will have to be brought before the Speaker who issued the warrant of his arrest, and will testify before the Committee on Justice,” Farinas said.
Speaker Alvarez said that the inquiry on the NBP drug trade will be reopened with the arrest of Dayan.
Malacanang hailed the arrest of Dayan.
“We welcome the arrest of Mr Ronnie Dayan. We hope that Mr Dayan’s arrest would lead to the uncovering of truth in the proliferation of drugs in Bilibid and for the guilty to be punished,” Presidential Communications Assistant Secretary Marie Banaag said in a statement to Palace reporters yesterday.
“We owe this to the future generation of [Filipinos] to have a drug-free society,” Banaag said.
Dayan was arrested in La Union yesterday although other reports claimed he yielded to the authorities and was presented to the media in Camp Crame, Quezon City yesterday afternoon.
Dayan was ordered arrested after he skipped the investigation by the House of Representatives on the illegal drug trade inside the NBP that allegedly benefitted De Lima.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday said the government is likely to place Dayan under its Witness Protection Program (WPP).
In a statement, Aguirre immediately welcomed Dayan’s arrest yesterday saying that this “will tie up the loose ends and supply the missing links in the cases before the DoJ.”
Based on initial reports, Dayan was arrested at 11:30 a.m. in Sitio Turod, Brgy. San Felipe, San Juan, La Union.
“It is also a chance for Mr. Dayan to clear his name so we encourage him to tell the whole truth of what he knows,” Aguirre said.
De Lima and Dayan were among the respondents in the several complaints filed before the DoJ seeking their indictment for allegedly conspiring to benefit from the illegal drug activities inside the NBP.
With Jester P. Manalastas, Hector Lawas, EMontano