De Lima urges 'right treatment' for Dayan, Espinosa
MANILA, Philippines – After her former security aide and boyfriend Ronnie Dayan surrendered to police on Tuesday, November 22, Senator Leila de Lima urged the authorities to provide Dayan, and even alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, with the "right treatment."
"Sa pagkakaaresto kay Ronnie Dayan, umaasa ako sa tamang pagtrato sa kanya ng mga kinauukulan. Ganoon na rin ang panawagan ko sa Pangulo para sa iba pang mga tetestigo laban sa akin, katulad ni Kerwin Espinosa," De Lima said in a statement Tuesday.
(In the arrest of Ronnie Dayan, I hope authorities will give him the right treatment. That is also my call to the President for other witnesses against me, like Kerwin Espinosa.)
She continued: "Ako naman talaga ang habol ninyo. Huwag na ninyo silang pahirapan pa, mga kriminal man sila o hindi. Huwag na rin sana ninyong gawing drama pa ang paninira sa akin. Isampa na lamang ninyo ang mga kaso sa husgado at doon ko na kayo haharapin."
(I'm really your target. Don't let them suffer anymore, whether they're a criminal or not. I hope you don't turn this into a drama anymore, these allegations against me. Just file the cases before the court, and I will face you there.)
De Lima reiterated that she is willing to face any court to prove wrong the allegations that she ever benefitted from drug money when she was secretary of justice.
The Duterte administration has accused her of allowing drug lords to operate from inside the national penitentiary in exchange for millions of pesos intended for her senatorial campaign. According to high-profile inmates who testified in a congressional hearing, they coursed the bribes through Dayan, who received them in De Lima's house.
"Wala akong tinanggap ni isang kusing mula sa kalakaran ng ilegal na droga. Sa tanang buhay ko, lalong-lalo na sa paglilingkod sa gobyerno, hindi ako nakinabang sa anumang katiwalian, dahil hindi ko po kailanman kayang talikuran ang tiwala ng sambayanan."
(I did not receive even a single centavo from the illegal drug trade. During my entire life, especially when I served in government, I did not benefit from any corruption, because I can never betray the trust of the public.)
The House committee on justice had ordered Dayan's arrest and cited him in contempt last October 10, after he failed to attend the hearing on the New Bilibid Prison drug trade on October 6.
De Lima earlier admitted that she had been in a relationship with Dayan for "a few years," but insisted she did not finance the construction of his house in Pangasinan, as alleged by President Rodrigo Duterte.
She said her critics keep bringing up her relationship with Dayan "to make the public believe he is my bagman."
"Sa ating sambayanang Pilipino, nawa’y patuloy po tayong magbantay at maging mapanuri sa mga nangyayari sa ating lipunan. Umaasa akong sa huli ay lalabas din ang buong katotohanan," she urged the public.
(To Filipinos, I hope that we will remain vigilant and critical of what is happening in our society. I hope that in the end, the truth will come out.)
In August – before the House of Representative ordered Dayan's arrest – De Lima pleaded for him: "Sana ho 'wag ninyo siyang galawin.... Sana po 'wag 'nyo siyang damputin. Puwede 'nyo lang siyang damputin kung meron kayong warrant of arrest. Pero 'pag wala pong warrant of arrest, sana po 'wag siyang pakialaman.
(I hope you don’t touch him.... I hope you don’t arrest him. You can only arrest him if you have a warrant of arrest. But if you don’t have a warrant of arrest, please leave him alone.) – Rappler.com