Dayan: Umali forced me to testify vs De Lima
Ronnie Dayan, a former aide of Sen. Leila de Lima, has accused the late former Oriental Mindoro Rep. Rey Umali of coercing him to testify against the senator during the 2016 congressional inquiries into the illegal drug trading in New Bilibid Prison.
Dayan affirmed his recantation of the testimonies he made before the Senate and House of Representatives by submitting to the court a new affidavit on Friday.
He is a corespondent of De Lima in one of the two remaining cases.
According to Dayan’s lawyer Haidee Soriano, he also denied the allegations of prosecution witnesses that he received drug money and delivered it to De Lima, when she was still justice secretary.
In his new affidavit filed at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204, Dayan said Umali, who was then the chair of the House of Representatives committee on justice, forced him to say that he received money from self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
“Because when I told him that I did not know anything about the Bilibid drug trade, he told me to just build upon the testimony of Kerwin Espinosa,” Dayan said, adding that he did not know Espinosa.
According to Dayan, he was forced to follow Umali’s orders since “I was guarded by armed police officers.”
Dayan was arrested by police on Nov. 22, 2016, in La Union for snubbing a congressional inquiry.
“Because I was then so confused and under pressure, I told him that they will be just the ones to write what I will say and that is the testimony I will deliver in [the House committee hearing],” Dayan recounted.
He said a lawyer of Umali, whose name he already forgot, drafted the affidavit.