Dayan, Kerwin testimonies clash


WAS Ronnie Dayan trying to save his own skin?

This was the question raised by a number of lawmakers after the much-awaited testimony on Thursday of the former driver, bodyguard and lover of Sen. Leila de Lima before a House of Representatives inquiry into the illegal drug trade.

MOBILE INTERFERENCE Hannah Mae Dayan (left), daughter of Ronnie Dayan (right), the former driver-bodyguard of Sen. Leila de Lima, shows a mobile phone supposedly containing a message from the senator. De Lima allegedly asked her ex-aide and lover not to appear before an inquiry of the House of Representatives. PHOTO BY RUY MARTINEZ

MOBILE INTERFERENCE Hannah Mae Dayan (left), daughter of Ronnie Dayan (right), the former driver-bodyguard of Sen. Leila de Lima, shows a mobile phone supposedly containing a message from the senator. De Lima allegedly asked her ex-aide and lover not to appear before an inquiry of the House of Representatives. PHOTO BY RUY MARTINEZ

Dayan admitted to accepting cash from alleged drug kingpin Rolando “Kerwin” Espinosa Jr. on de Lima’s behalf, but denied collecting money from prison inmates to finance the senatorial campaign of de Lima, who was Justice secretary in the previous administration.

Dayan also claimed he didn’t know Espinosa was a “drug lord” in Eastern Visayas.

“I’ve met Kerwin Espinosa for five times, and he gives me a small paper bag [with money]. I don’t count it though, and Kerwin does not tell me the amount of the money for Ma’am [de Lima],” Dayan told lawmakers in Filipino.

On Wednesday, Espinosa told a Senate investigation that he gave as much as P8 million to de Lima through Dayan between February to October 2015.

But Dayan contradicted this, saying he met Espinosa four times at the SM Mall of Asia in Pasay between August and October 2014, and for the fifth time in November 2014 in Baguio City.

“She (de Lima) just sends me a text message about the person I am about to meet. I was told he (Espinosa) was an engineer and I really thought he was an engineer. I did not know that Kerwin was a drug lord,” Dayan said of the 36-year-old Espinosa.

“It’s Kerwin who gave me the money. I then gave it to Ma’am when I get home, inside her bedroom, because I know it is a secret,” he added.

Dayan testified that he and de Lima lived together from 2010 until they broke up in January 2015, when the relationship turned sour.

“I just receive the money, sir. I just follow instructions,” Dayan told the lawmakers.

Senator Panfilo Lacson, head of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Dangerous Drugs that grilled Espinosa on Wednesday, said the alleged drug kingpin’s testimony had many loose ends that needed tying up to convince senators.

Lacson said it was unclear how Dayan was able to contact Espinosa. Albuera, Leyte police head Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido has denied introducing Dayan to Espinosa.

“I cannot imagine. Gusto kong malaman paano nakilala ni Espenido si Dayan [I want to know how Espenido knew Dayan]. So as of now if you will ask me what is my assessment, I have doubts on the veracity of Kerwin’s testimonies,” Lacson said.

Not a bagman

Dayan belied the earlier testimony of New Bilibid Prison inmates that he received millions from acting director Rafael Ragos of the Bureau of Corrections for delivery to de Lima.

Dayan said he only saw Ragos giving something to de Lima two times. The first incident involved a brown envelope, and the second, a white plastic bag that contained what looked like a shoebox.

“It is not true that I received P3 million, P5 million, P1.6 million from Ragos. All I know is that Ragos gave [an envelope and a plastic bag]to Secretary de Lima. I did not know what’s inside,” Dayan said.

Lastly, Dayan denied rubbing elbows with New Bilibid Prison inmates Rodolfo Magleo and Herbert Colanggo as well as NBI agent Junior Ablen and former policeman Engelberto Durano, who all claimed to have given money to de Lima through Dayan.

Durano claimed de Lima got protection money from slain drug lord Jeffrey “Jaguar” Diaz through Dayan.

Macho man

Rep. Paulino Salvador Leachon of Oriental Mindoro said Dayan’s testimony was not entirely truthful.

“Your affidavit is that of a macho man trying to impress some veracity to be able to absolve yourself and Senator de Lima. I don’t know if I will be voting for your liberty,” Leachon told Dayan during the inquiry.

Representatives Juliet Ferrer of Negros Occidental and Gus Tambunting of Parañaque were just as perplexed as Leachon.

“Going by your affidavit, it seems that you have no knowledge of the drug trade in Bilibid and yet you claim to be so close with her (de Lima). How can you not know that it is not drug money?” Ferrer said.

“Your inconsistent testimony just shows that while you might have told us truths, you also have a lot of secrets to keep. That’s why you can’t blame us if we are doubting your credibility,” Tambunting said.

Dayan, however, was adamant he had told the truth. He claimed he was hesitant to testify before the House inquiry out of fear of politicians in his home province of Pangasinan who were accused by President Rodrigo Duterte of being drug protectors.

“I fear a lot of people…the politicians in my hometown…because they think I was the one who linked them to the drug matrix revealed by President Duterte,” Dayan said.

Contempt vs de Lima

Lawmakers then trained their guns on de Lima, issuing a show-cause order against the senator for her apparent attempt to dissuade Dayan from testifying in the House probe.

ABS party-list Rep. Eugene de Vera sought the show-cause order after Dayan testified that de Lima had advised him against complying with the House Justice panel summons.

Dayan said de Lima sent the request through a text message to his daughter, Hannah Mae. De Lima, he said, was concerned the House probe would become a spectacle in which both of them would be put to shame.

Leyte Rep. Vicente Veloso said: “The mere fact that a member of the upper house texted a resource person not to go [to the House probe], is already a violation of inter-parliamentary courtesy.”

House Justice panel chief Reynaldo Umali of Oriental Mindoro backed his colleagues’ request.

Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque called for harsher punishment for the senator: her removal from the Senate.

“She has prevented an appearance of a vital witness after she has accused this committee of launching a witch-hunt and being a kangaroo court. And yet she caused this witness not to heed our invitation. I hope our colleagues in the Senate are aware of the seriousness of this. A sitting senator is preventing a key witness in a legislative investigation. This is concealing the truth,” Roque said.

House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas of Ilocos Norte said de Lima was guilty of violating Section 11 of the House rules in which a person could be cited for contempt for interfering in legislative proceedings.


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  1. Delima as a public officer who betrayed public trust should not just be asked for resignation but should be jailed instead….

  2. she also had affairs with two other guards…she is their supervisor…sexual harassment or at least some kind of quid pro quo. It would be like an older man running a strip club…and giving out favors to the girl who will sleep with him…she is a predator

  3. i believe dayan was telling half turths. thru his testimony it s
    hows that dayan was just protecting himself. he wants to show that his only participation was just accepting the money from kerwin. he was just the conduit of delima. he denies knowing the drug personalities at the nbp while all of them point to dayan as delimas bagman at nbp.he changed the date of his participation with kerwin so he can make an excuse that he is no longer connected to delima in 2015. remember that all the drug personalities at nbp who testified at the senate stated that dayan was delimas bagman in 2015. dayan wants to show that he has no connections whatsoever with these drug personalitie. his excuse was that he was no longer delima.s lover since february 2015. is it not possible that even though he was no longer delima’s lover he was still doing some errands for delima as her bagman in 2015 this may be the reason why all the drug personalities point to him as delimas’s bagman a year prior to the elections.

  4. Now it is clear that kerwin gave money to bodyguard ronnie. The proper forum will dissect the details so that the truth will be uncovered.

  5. Maybe too early to comment … Where are the believers of DE5 …. I hope they will come to her defense … Why so quiet … Now maybe you are enlightened that something and somehow truth will come out of this …

  6. wag naman sanang matulad si dayan ke mayor espinosa. dapat bantay sarardo yan ng mga kamag anak niya at pati na rin si pnp dela rosa bigyan siya ng mahigpit na seguridad.

  7. jose b taganahan on

    It is unfortunate that the lower house was clearly intent on pinning the sex maniac de Lima as a drug protector that they refused to believed the testimonies of Dayan except for the portion where Dayan admitted to have accepted money from Kerwin Espinosa in behalf of de Lima. They even questioned the dates when Dayan maintained that it happened in 2014 because he already resigned as de Lima’s driver/body guard (and lover) last Feb. 2015. Please take not that that the date of separation of service of Ronnie Dayan from the DOJ is significant because it may contradict the testimonies of those convicted hardened criminals at the NBP who alleged Dayan as the bag man of de Lima on the allege payola given to de Lima from convicted drug lords inside the NBP.

  8. What else to prove that she is innocent?
    I dont see any way out for Deliema.
    She is now in big dilemma.
    Resignation is what she should do.
    She cannot act innocent anymore.
    She got busted big time!