De Lima admits Dayan endorsed Bucayu, Ragos for BuCor

Camille Elemia
De Lima admits Dayan endorsed Bucayu, Ragos for BuCor
De Lima downplays Dayan's recommendation, saying it was just normal for her friends and co-workers then to pitch several names for posts. The ultimate decision, she says, was hers.

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila de Lima admitted that her former security aide and former boyfriend Ronnie Dayan indeed recommended to her the appointment of two former officials of the Bureau of Corrections.

But De Lima, then justice secretary, was quick to say she appointed former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos and director Franklin Jesus Bucayu not because of Dayan’s endorsement.

“Yes parang inano niya ‘yan si (it’s like he recommended) Ragos and Bucayu but it’s not because it’s his recommendation. It’s just that I thought Ragos, akala ko mapagkakatiwalaan yan pero tingnan mo ginawa n’ya (I thought he could be trusted but look at what he did),” De Lima told reporters on Tuesday, December 6.

But the senator downplayed Dayan’s recommendation, saying it was just normal for her friends and co-workers then to pitch several names for posts. The ultimate decision, she said, was hers.

Ganito yun just like anybody, my friends, relatives, and fellow workers in government, natural naman yung nagre-recommend. (It’s like this, just like anybody, my friends, relatives, and fellow workers in government, it’s natural for them to recommend). The final decision rests in me,” she said.

Dayan said during Monday’s Senate probe that he received money from Ragos and Bucayu. He claimed he received between P15,000 and P30,000 from the two BuCor officials in exchange for his recommendation. Dayan, however, said he was not sure if the money was from illegal drugs. (READ: De Lima turns emotional, confronts accusers at Senate)

“Ang dumaan lang sa akin sir yung binibigay dati ni Ragos na P15,000, P30,000 parang suhol daw n’ya sa akin sa pag-(recommend) ko kay ma’am bilang OIC director,” Dayan said.

(What I only got sir was what Ragos was giving before, P15,000, P30,000 as a bribe for my recommendation of him as OIC director to ma’am.)

“Ganun din po si Bucayu. ‘Yun lang ang naalala ko. Ganun din po P15,000, P30,000. Hindi man tumataas, hindi po buwan-buwan,” he added.

(Same with Bucayu. That’s all I can remember. Same, P15,000, P30,000. It did not increase and it was not monthly.)

‘He hid it from me’

De Lima denied knowing that Dayan accepted a bribe from BuCor officials, saying he might have hidden it from her.

Asked if Dayan possibly received money, De Lima said: “Maybe. That’s the first time I heard it and I was so disappointed.”

Kung totoo na tumanggap siya ng mga ganung amounts sa dalawa, tinago niya yun sa akin (If it is indeed true that he received such amounts from the two, he hid it from me) because he knows I would not go for it,” De Lima added.

Ragos, currently director III at the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), claimed during a House probe that he delivered P5 million to De Lima’s house in 2012. The money allegedly came from a certain Peter Co.

“The caller said the black handbag came from Peter Co and it contains ‘5 manok’ which means P5 million as ‘manok’ refers to P1 million in the vernacular in the New Bilibid Prison,” Ragos earlier said during the House probe into the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison.

De Lima has repeatedly denied links to illegal drugs, saying the supposed evidence against her are mere “fabrications” part of the personal vendetta of President Rodrigo Duterte. – Rappler.com

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com