Re-electionist Senator Leila M. de Lima welcomed the manifestation filed before the Muntinlupa courts by the camp of her former aide and co-accused in one of two remaining cases, Ronnie Dayan, belying receiving and delivering of supposed drug money.
De Lima, who remains detained over trumped-up drug charges, said that Dayan’s recent manifestation is a reminder of how most witnesses in her cases were either coerced or pressured to testify against her.
“I am much aware of reports about this incident where Dayan was cornered by certain senators and intimidated into confessing without the assistance of a lawyer. This was the time when congressmen and senators were trying to outdo each other in destroying me just to score pogi points with Duterte,” she said.
“By now, we already know that Dayan, along, with other witnesses were intimidated and forced, to testify against me. Kung hindi man para sa sarili nilang kaligtasan, kalayaan o iba pang insentibo, kailangan nilang gawin ‘yun dahil maliban sa pressure at takot, baka buhay nila o ng kapamilya nila mismo ang nakataya,” she added.
At the second COMELEC PiliPinas Presidential Debates 2022, Senator Manny Pacquiao claimed that he was able to talk to Dayan, saying “nagconfess talaga na naghatid siya ng pera. Tumanggap siya ng pera pero mahirap naman po yun kung hindi natin idadaan sa due process, parang hindi natin nirerespeto yung Constitution natin.”
In a manifestation filed before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court Branches 204 and 256 last April 4, Dayan’s counsel, Atty. Haidee Soriano, however, said that “whatever statements” supposedly made by Dayan to Pacquiao, or before the Senate, “were made under due duress and without the benefit of counsel of his choice.”
Dayan’s camp likewise stressed that he had already “repeatedly denied” in his counter-affidavits that he was involved in the illegal drug trade, including receiving money sourced from the drug trade.
De Lima, for her part, has repeatedly denied the accusations against her, saying that the trumped-up drug charges against her are mere product of the President’s vendetta against her.
“Para makapaghiganti sa akin, ginawa ni Duterte lahat gamit ang buong makinarya ng gobyerno. Gamit ang kanyang poder at impluwensya, nagawa nyang magtahi ng mga kasinungalingan at mga imbentong paratang,” she said.
De Lima has consistently and firmly asserted her innocence in the cases filed against her. Due to lack of evidence, one of the three trumped-up drug charges against her has already been dismissed, which she called a “moral victory.” The two other cases are still pending.