Trillanes: Lawmakers failed to pin down De Lima
Stand down and swallow your pride, Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV told congressmen demanding that Sen. Leila de Lima explain why she should not be held in contempt for asking her former bodyguard and boyfriend to skip a House inquiry.
Trillanes said congressmen failed to prove that De Lima coddled drug lords, as the testimonies of former bodyguard Ronnie Dayan and confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa on their alleged drug money transactions on behalf of De Lima were nothing but lies.
“They embarrassed Sen. De Lima. They made inmates and Dayan talk but Sen. De Lima is still standing. It’s time to accept the fact that they were not able to prove anything. So now, swallow your pride and stand down,” Trillanes told the congressmen on Sunday in a radio program.
Trillanes said that while abroad, he monitored the Senate and House inquiries that touched on De Lima’s alleged pocketing of payola from suspected drug lords.
Trillanes was asked to comment on the bid of the House of Representatives to issue a show cause order against De Lima after Dayan’s daughter testified that the senator had told her in a text message that Dayan should skip the House inquiry because congressmen would just ridicule him.
The House had wanted Dayan to testify in its probe after New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmates tagged him as the alleged bagman of De Lima. Dayan went into hiding until his arrest last week in La Union. He has since testified that he received money for De Lima from Espinosa.
But Dayan said it was De Lima who instructed him to get the money from Espinosa, a big contrast to the claim of
Espinosa that he talked directly to Dayan who was introduced to him by Albuera, Leyte police chief Insp. Jovie Espenido.
Trillanes acknowledged he did not believe allegations that De Lima received money from suspected drug lords inside and outside NBP.
He said the testimonies of Dayan and Espinosa diverged because they were not telling the truth.
“I really doubt that their claims really happened. For me, even body language, assessing their testimonies, [their allegations] were not true. That was why it was hard to patch up their stories,” Trillanes said.
He also took issue with how some congressmen made a big deal out of the picture showing De Lima together with Espinosa.
In his testimony at the Senate last week, Espinosa said he had a photo opportunity with De Lima at Burnham Park in Baguio City in November last year or before he handed Dayan P4 million of the P8 million he allegedly gave De Lima as protection money.
“Where have you seen a situation where one has a confidential meeting but you go to Burnham Park and have your picture taken there?” he said.
Peter Lim, Duterte photo
He pointed out that President Duterte himself had been photographed thrice with suspected drug lord Peter Lim whom he also said “remained untouchable.”
Trillanes also said that if De Lima was indeed a coddler of drug lords, then she would have made sure that she would butter up to Mr. Duterte once he took power.
“Why would you fight a President if you have so many [pieces of] baggage? You will butter up to him. You will do that because you don’t want your case to be revived or a case filed against you,” Trillanes said.