Bato vows to secure Dayan after House inquiry
Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Director General Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa on Thursday vowed to secure Ronnie Dayan, the alleged bagman and former driver and lover of Senator Leila De Lima.
In an interview after the House of Representatives inquiry in aid of legislation on the proliferation of drugs at the Bilibid, Dela Rosa vowed to secure Dayan upon the latter’s request for police protection as he intends to go home to his family in Pangasinan after testifying against De Lima.
“My instruction is, anywhere he goes, fully secured siya by policemen from Pangasinan Police Provincial Office. That’s my instruction even if he wants to go home. Siya naman voluntarily siyang nagsabing ‘gusto ko masecure ako (He was the one who voluntarily said he wants to be secured by the police),’” Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa said the police would secure Dayan for 24 hours if only to keep him safe, especially after he testified during the hearing and pinned down De Lima in the alleged drug trade.
“Twenty-four hours babantayan yan, baka mamaya may mangyari pa (We will watch over him for 24 hours, because otherwise something might happen to him),” Dela Rosa said.
Dela Rosa said the police would secure Dayan until next week Tuesday, when he would then be placed under the Witness Protection Program in the care of the Department of Justice.
“Patuloy, round the clock ang ating security. Hindi natin siya iiwan (Our security will be round the clock. We will not leave him),” Dela Rosa said.
Dayan was turned over to the police after the House justice committee agreed to release him from its custody since he had finally given his testimony after snubbing the House probe.
Dayan had appealed to the police to secure him in his visit to his family in Pangasinan.
Dayan added, however, that he was no longer afraid for his life, especially after having to go into hiding in the wilderness when an arrest warrant was issued against him for contempt.
“Naubos na takot ko sa bundok, inubos na ng lamok. Diyos na ang bahala. Ubos na po ang takot ko,” Dayan said.
(My fears for my life had long been gone in the mountains. I leave my fate to God. I am no longer afraid.)
Dayan had admitted delivering money from alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa to De Lima amid their romantic relationship.
He has said he gave drug money from Espinosa to De Lima at least five times in 2014. Espinosa, however, said he gave De Lima at least P8 million in 2015 for the justice secretary’s senatorial campaign.
Dayan was arrested in La Union last Tuesday after he was cited in contempt for snubbing the House of Representatives inquiry in aid of legislation on the proliferation of drugs at the New Bilibid Prison implicating De Lima.
During the turnover by the police to the House of Representatives Tuesday night, Dayan admitted receiving drug kickbacks from Espinosa for De Lima, an allegation the senator said was a lie.
Bilibid inmates who testified in the House inquiry tagged Dayan as the one who allegedly collected millions of kickbacks for De Lima from the drug trade for her senatorial campaign bid.
De Lima has vehemently denied the allegation, pointing out that allies of President Rodrigo Duterte have an ax to grind against her since she has crossed swords with him. De Lima as human rights chair investigated the alleged links of Duterte to the Davao Death Squad when the latter was mayor.
But De Lima has admitted to having an affair with Dayan, but said both of them were separated from their marriages at the time. De Lima has also expressed fears Dayan might be forced to testify against her. RAM
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