De Lima ex-driver ordered to explain absence in Bilibid probe
The House of Representatives justice committee has ordered Ronnie Dayan to explain why he should not be cited in contempt for failing to appear on Thursday’s inquiry into the alleged drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.
During the third day of the inquiry, Deputy Speaker Cebu Rep. Gwen Garcia initially moved for the committee to vote on the motion to hold Dayan in contempt.
Dayan was the former driver of Sen. Leila de Lima who allegedly collected drug money for her from the purported drug trade at Bilibid when the latter was justice secretary.
Quezon City Rep. Vicente “Bingbong” Crisologo seconded the motion.
Acting chair Misamis Occidental Rep. Henry Oaminal said there was a quorum among the members present to vote on the motion. No one opposed the motion.
Oaminal said an arrest warrant against Dayan for contempt was subject to approval by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Once an arrest warrant is served, Dayan will be compelled to attend the next House hearing on Oct. 10.
“The order is pursuant to the approved motion in which there was no objection. An order shall be issued addressed to Mr. Ronnie Palisoc Dayan to hereby hold in contempt and order shall be issued from this committee to be approved by the Honorable Speaker (Pantaleon Alvarez) for issuance of an arrest warrant for him to be compelled to attend the next committee hearing on Oct 10,” Oaminal said.
But Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas pointed out that according to House rules, a witness should first be ordered to explain why he or she should not be cited in contempt.
Fariñas said Dayan may have a legal excuse for missing the hearing.
“We should let him explain why he should not be cited in contempt. He may have a legal excuse. It may be too hasty on our part to cite him in contempt,” Fariñas said.
Fariñas then moved for Dayan to be given 24 hours to explain why he should not be cited in contempt. The motion was approved.