Dayan refuses to testify vs De Lima on her ‘disobedience to summons’ case
The former driver, boyfriend, and alleged bagman of Senator Leila De Lima has refused to testify against the senator during a hearing on her disobedience to summons case, citing his right against self-incrimination and right not to be compelled to serve as a witness.
Ronnie Dayan attended the hearing at the Metropolitan Trial Court branch 34 in Quezon City on Thursday after he was issued a subpoena to appear as the prosecution’s witness.
“Hindi ko alam na prosecution witness pala ako. I received the subpoena just today. I cannot testify against the senator because we have the same case. I don’t know why I was named witness,” Dayan told reporters.
Dayan, who is currently detained at the Muntinlupa City Jail, pleaded not guilty on the same case (Art. 150 of the Revised Penal code) last Monday at the QC Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 35.
De Lima was charged for allegedly “inducing” Dayan from attending the House Committee on Justice hearing on the illegal drug trade last Oct. 2016.
Lawyer Ted Rigoroso, De Lima’s lawyer, said the prosecution, in general, can subpoena a witness even if he refuses to be named a witness.
“May exception lang ‘yan sa rules of court. ‘Pag nagrefuse ka, pwede kang ipawarrant. But this is a special case. Dayan says he cannot be a witness for the same charge…” he said.
“How can he testify in the case and say that ‘I disobeyed’?” Rigoroso said.
The camp of Dayan filed on Thursday a “motion to admit with manifestation and motion to quash the subpoena ad testificandum” “in the interest of justice and fair play.”
“Mr. Dayan is invoking his constitutional right against self-incrimination, and invokes this right not to be compelled to be a witness in the case as it may prejudice his right in (his own case),” according to the Aug. 1 motion filed by Dayan’s counsel Haidee Soriano.
“Being accused on a criminal case that covers the same alleged factual antecedents, it is settled in the Philippine jurisprudence that Mr. Dayan can refuse outright to take the stand as a witness,” the motion added.
The prosecution team led by Prosecutor Albert Angelo Villlalon was given 15 days to comment on the motion.
The next hearing was set for August 30.
The other witnesses of the prosecution included Representative Reynaldo Umali and House photographer Perfecto Camero who took a shot of the text message which reportedly discouraged Dayan to attend the hearing. /je
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