Dayan, wife are ‘aggrieved’ parties, not De Lima – Alvarez

Mara Cepeda
Dayan, wife are ‘aggrieved’ parties, not De Lima – Alvarez
'Isn't using your subordinates a form of sexual harassment?' Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez asks, referring to Senator Leila de Lima allegedly ordering driver Ronnie Dayan to collect drug money for her

MANILA, Philippines – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said Ronnie Dayan and his wife Norly are the “aggrieved” parties in the whole controversy surrounding Dayan’s 7-year love affair with his former boss, Senator Leila de Lima.

Alvarez made the statement on Monday, November 28, as he defended the House justice committee members from criticism over their questions on De Lima and Dayan’s relationship during the last hearing into the narcotics trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). 

Dayan denied allegations that he collected millions of money from prison drug lords for De Lima, but claimed he acted as the former justice secretary’s bagman for transactions with alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa. (READ: A can of contradictions in Ronnie Dayan’s testimony

He also admitted his love affair with De Lima. Lawmakers and netizens alike, however, called out congressmen for prying into Dayan and De Lima’s relationship during their interpellations. (READ: ‘Kailan kayo nag-climax?’: Nonsense questions at the Bilibid drugs hearing

According to Alvarez, these questions were necessary to show De Lima’s true character. (READ: House mulls arrest warrant, disbarment cases vs De Lima

“Pero ‘yung pagtatanong doon sa relationship, kinakailangan ‘yun. Bakit? Here is a woman pretending to be clean, pretending to be a crime buster, a graft buster, a self-proclaimed righteous individual. Kailangan nating ipakita sa taong bayan kung anong klaseng tao ito,” said Alvarez.

(Those questions on the relationship were needed. Why? Here is a woman pretending to be clean, pretending to be a crime buster, a graft buster, a self-proclaimed righteous individual. We need to show the people what kind of person she is.)

Alvarez said that those who tagged congressmen’s questions as misogynistic were only seeing one side of the story. The Speaker said De Lima “used” Dayan for her personal gain. 

“Sino ba’ng agrabyado dito? Sa tingin ko, si Ronnie Dayan kasi nagamit siya eh. Ginamit siya. Pinatanggap siya ng mga drug money, ginawa naman niya. Now, nagkaroon ka (De Lima) ng succeeding relationship like kay Joenel [Sanchez]. Si Joenel, naging carrier din nung ano, ‘di ba? Per testimony of the inmates, tumanggap din siya in behalf of Senator De Lima,” said Alvarez. 

(Who is aggrieved here? I think Ronnie Dayan because he was used. He was ordered to receive drug money and he did it. Now, she had a succeeding relationship with Joenel Sanchez. Joenel became a carrier too, right? Per testimony of the inmates, he accepted money in behalf of Senator De Lima.) 

“‘Yung paggamit nung mga subordinates mo, ‘di ba sexual harassment ‘yun?” he added. (Isn’t using your subordinates a form of sexual harassment?)

In his affidavit, Sanchez had confirmed the De Lima-Dayan affair, but he denied that he himself was in a relationship with his boss. Sanchez also denied being De Lima’s bagman.

Alvarez, meanwhile, said critics of the House justice panel also failed to consider Dayan’s wife Norly.

“‘Yung mga dumedepensa kay Senator De Lima dahil daw ‘yung parang hinarass siya, ‘yung pagkakababae, ito ang tanong ko sa kanila: Bakit hindi nila kinonsider ‘yung asawa ni Ronnie Dayan? Babae ‘yun. Sa tingin ko siya ang agrabyado dito!” said Alvarez.

(Those who are defending Senator De Lima, saying she was harassed and her womanhood was attacked, I ask them: Why not consider the wife of Ronnie Dayan? She is a woman also. I think she is the aggrieved here!) 

Dayan went into hiding in August after President Rodrigo Duterte alleged that he and De Lima had a relationship and had links to the New Bilibid Prison drug trade. Dayan supposedly snubbed the October 6 hearing of the House justice committee upon the advice of De Lima. 

Dayan’s wife Norly and their daughter Hannah Mae accompanied him when he was placed under the House of Representatives’ custody following his arrest on November 22. – 

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Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda specializes in stories about politics and local governance. She covers the Office of the Vice President, the Senate, and the Philippine opposition. She is a 2021 fellow of the Asia Journalism Fellowship and the Reham al-Farra Memorial Journalism Fellowship of the UN. Got tips? Email her at or tweet @maracepeda.