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Making Dayan a witness may violate right vs self-incrimination – lawyer

/ 05:46 AM January 31, 2019

Saying the man is not an “ordinary witness,” a lawyer for detained Sen. Leila de Lima on Wednesday said presenting Ronnie Dayan as witness in her  disobedience to summons case may violate his right against self-incrimination.

“Calling the accused Ronnie Dayan [to] the witness stand will violate his right against self-incrimination. The position of [the] judge is that Dayan may take the witness stand and invoke his right when the question is asked,” lawyer Filibon Tacardon told reporters after the scheduled hearing of De Lima’s case at the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) Branch 34.

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Disobedience to summons

“But for me, I feel the mere asking of Ronnie Dayan to take the witness stand is already a violation because he’s already an accused. He’s not an ordinary witness,” Tacardon said.

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De Lima was charged with disobedience to summons in December 2016 for allegedly “inducing” Dayan not to attend the committee on justice hearing in the House of Representatives on the illegal drug trade in October of that year.

Dayan was supposed to be presented as the prosecution’s third witness on Wednesday but the court reset the hearing to another date to consolidate two cases in MTC Branch 34.

Two separate cases

The Department of Justice filed two separate cases against Dayan and De Lima in the Quezon City MTC Branches 34 and 35.

Dayan, the former lover of De Lima who is detained at the Muntinlupa City Jail, earlier pleaded not guilty to the same charge in Branch 35.

“I feel there is a serious constitutional issue that will arise if they present Dayan as an accused … [Y]ou cannot call an accused without his consent [to] the witness stand,” Tacardon said. —Jodee Agoncillo

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TAGS: drug case, Leila de Lima, Ronnie Dayan
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