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Senate detains De Lima’s ‘evasive’ ex

  • Written by Bernadette E. Tamayo
  • Published in Top Stories
  • Read: 209

THE Senate took custody of Ronnie Dayan, the former driver-lover of Sen. Leila de Lima, after the upper chamber cited him in contempt for being “evasive” in answering the senators’ questions on his links with some personalities involved in the drug trade.

Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs, who led the probe into the drug trade said that Dayan will be held on the Senate premises until the senators decide on whether he will be transferred to the National Bilibid Prisons (NBP).
   
“In the meantime that he’s being held, as he’s been cited in contempt by this committee, he will stay muna at the Senate premises,” said Lacson.
   
The Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms (OSSAA) will secure Dayan who will be placed in one of the rooms at the basement of the upper chamber.
   
Lacson said that panel members will meet to discuss the amended motion of Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III that Dayan be transferred to Building 14 of the NBP
   
“In the meantime na hindi pa napa-finalize ‘yung place of detention mo, kung saan ka ide-detain, you will stay at the Senate premises and the OSAA will take care of you,” Lacson told Dayan
   
It was Sen. Manny Pacquiao who motioned to cite Dayan in contempt for not being forthright in answering the senators’ questions on his involvement in receiving money from drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
        
Sen. Panfilo Lacson also lambasted Dayan, self-confessed “bagman” of De Lima, for having “selective memory” as to some details on his supposed meeting with confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa in Baguio City in November 2014 to receive the “payola” money for her
   
Espinosa, however, testified that the said meeting took place Nov. 2015. Espinosa and Dayan had a face off in yesterday’s resumption of the Senate inquiry into the killing of Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr., Kerwin’s father.
   
Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV, on the other hand, questioned the move to cite Dayan in contempt since it will indicate that the senators believe that Kerwin is more credible than Dayan
   
Pacquiao repeatedly asked Dayan who were the other people whom he had collected “drug money” supposedly for the campaign fund of De Lima, who was then justice secretary but already planning to run for the Senate in the May 2016 national elections
   
“Si Kerwin lang ang pinagtatanggapan ko ng pera,” Dayan told Pacquiao. To which the latter said:”Hindi ko kaya (paniwalaan) na isa lang ang kausap mo. Pag-isipan mo ng mabuti kung paano mo kami mapaniwala na si Kerwin Espinosa lang ang kinukunan mo ng pera.
   
Pacquiao could not believe either Dayan’s testimony that he had no interaction with known drug lords jailed at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) namely JB Sebastian and Herbert Colanggo. The two claimed in a congressional inquiry that they gave “drug money” to De Lima through Dayan.
   
Asked whether he knew Sebastian and Colanggo, Dayan said: “Hindi ko sila kilala sir.” But, he admitted that he and De Lima visited the hut of former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez.  “Ang pinuntahan lang namin ‘yung kubol ni Mayor Sanchez,” he said.
        
Ram Espinosa, Kerwin’s first cousin, has testified that he booked Kerwin at the Alexandra Residences in Baguio City in 2015. Ram’s statement supports Kerwin’s claim that he met with Dayan and De Lima in Baguio on Nov. 19, 2015.
   
Supt. Ramil Ladiong Saculles, acting director of the Baguio City police office, also testified that their records showed that the De Lima was in Baguio City on Nov. 19, 2015
   
“Bakit napaka-selective ng memory mo? Naalala mo lang gusto mo at nakakalimutan mo lang ang gusto mo,” Lacson told Dayan after the latter claimed that he can no longer remember where he and De Lima stayed in Baguio City.
   
“Taga Pangasinan ka, sigurado maraming beses kang nakapunta ng Baguio,” he told Dayan. Pressed further by Lacson to cite landmarks to locate the hotel, Dayan answered: “Di po ako familiar sa Baguio.”