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11月23日のまにら新聞から

Police arrest Senator De Lima’s former driver said to be link in alleged illegal drug trade

[ 653 words|2016.11.23|英字 ]

Ronnie Dayan, the former driver and lover of then Justice Secretary and now Senator Leila De Lima was arrested in San Juan town, La Union province on Tuesday.

Dayan was captured at 11:55 am in a farm in Barangay San Felipe, ending a police manhunt which lasted one month and 12 days.

"Here he is. Very alive and well except for some arthritis," said Philippine National Police chief Director General Ronald Dela Rosa as he presented Dayan in a press conference in Camp Crame late Tuesday afternoon.

Police operatives from Region 1 led by its regional director, Chief Superintendent Gregorio Pimentel, captured him.

A tight police security cordon surrounded Dayan when he was brought to Camp Crame. He wore a bullet-proof vest but was not in handcuffs.

Dayan underwent booking procedure at Camp Crame before he was turned over to House sergeant-at-arms Roland Detabali.

In a televised press conference in the evening, Detabali said Dayan will be staying at the Lower House and will be examined by doctors. A hearing has been set on Thursday.

A visibly tired Dayan confirmed he had a relationship with De Lima which lasted for seven years, starting when she was chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights.

"It's true we had a relationship," Dayan told reporters.

He said his romance with the former justice secretary ended in 2014. His last conversation with De Lima was after the 2016 elections where she won a Senate seat.

According to Dayan, his former boss thanked him for his support during the election. Asked to clarify, Dayan said it was just the normal stuff like putting up campaign tarpaulins.

But he was evasive on other questions, especially if he was De Lima's collector of drug money from convicted drug traffickers at New Bilibid Prisons which the latter allegedly used in funding her Senate bid

"I will answer these in Congress," said Dayan, referring to the House of Representatives which ordered his arrest for contempt last October 10 after he failed to attend hearings on the proliferation of prohibited drugs at the NBP.

In an interview at ANC, Senator Manny Pacquiao said that Kerwin Espinosa, the son a Leyte town mayor who died after allegedly shooting it out with police serving a search warrant in a provincial jail, that de Lima was asking money from the young Espinosa for the elections.

“Kerwin said he gave de Lima eight million pesos,” Pacquiao said. Pacquiao said Kerwin went to Baguio to meet de Lima because it was Dayan who contacted him.

Dayan, in the same televised press conference late Tuesday, said he received money from Espinosa for De Lima in 2014 but did not say how much this was.

The young Espinosa, said to be one of the biggest drug lords in eastern Visayas, will be appearing before the Senate on Wednesday.

Based on information gathered by the police, Dayan hid at a property owned by a relative in the mountains of San Gabriel town, La Union.

Initially, Dayan wanted to surrender to Senior Superintendent Ronald Lee, the Pangasinan police director, but his brother was not able to find a go-between to the police

official. When it did not push through, he opted to hide from the authorities.

"It was a literal chase with our operatives. He even hid in a river," said Dela Rosa.

Dayan recounted he evaded police by running for approximately 15 kilometers until he got tired and could not go on because of his arthritis.

Dela Rosa debunked rumors which circulated over the weekend Dayan was in their custody and arrested in Urbiztondo municipality, Pangasinan since Saturday and that he was being pressured to link Vice President Maria Leonor Robredo to the drug

trade.

"I don't know who are the ones making up that story," said Dela Rosa.

Dela Rosa branded as hogwash attempts to link Robredo to the drug trade, saying the vice president has an untainted image. Emmanuel Tupas/DMS