Ronnie Dayan placed under Senate custody

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Ronnie Dayan, the former driver-bodyguard and ex-boyfriend of Senator Leila de Lima, was placed under Senate custody on Monday, December 5, after he was cited for contempt of a Senate committee. 

Senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order, told Dayan on Monday, "You'll be placed under the custody of the Senate security."

Lacson explained that Dayan "has been cited for contempt" of his committee. 

Senator Manny Pacquiao had moved to cite Dayan for contempt due to his supposedly selective testimony on his alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade. "Marami kang kasinungalingan na sinasabi dito eh," Pacquiao said. (You're saying too many lies here.)

Addressing Dayan, Lacson also said, "In the meantime na hindi pa namin na-finalize 'yung place of detention mo kung saan ka ide-detain, you will stay here muna sa Senate premises."

(In the meantime that we have not finalized your place of detention, where you will be detained, you will first stay here in the Senate premises.)

But on Monday night, just hours after Dayan was escorted by the Senate sergeant-at-arms, the committee decided to release him for humanitarian reasons.

"Napagisahan namin tutal he will make himself available, at saka nariyan ang asawa, mga anak naawa kami. So pina-escort namin sa Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms, may kasama ring PNP pabalik sa kanyang bahay," Lacson said on Tuesday, December 6.

(We decided that since he will make himself available, and his wife and child were there, we will let him go out of mercy. We had him escorted by the Office of the Sergeant-at-Arms, together with the Philippine National Police, back to their home.)

The senator said they asked help from the PNP to secure Dayan, who vowed to continue cooperating with the panel.

"At pinaalalayan na lang namin namin sa PNP i-secure na lang doon at kung magkaroon pa ng susunod na pagdinig sabi niya willing siya," Lacson said.

(We asked the PNP to secure him there because he expressed willingness to attend next hearings.)

"May mga gusto siyang sabihin sana kahapon pero di siya nagkaroon ng pagkakataon. So kung sakaling magkakaroon ng sunod na pagdinig palagay ko may sasabihin pa siya na di pa nasabi," he added.

(He wanted to say more things yesterday but he was not able to. So if ever there would be another hearing, I think he would tell more information.)

De Lima and Dayan

During the hearing on Monday, De Lima avoided encounters with Dayan as her former driver-bodyguard answered questions from senators.

At one point, De Lima even turned her chair around as Dayan spoke.

Dayan has claimed he received money from alleged Eastern Visayas drug lord Kerwin Espinosa on behalf of De Lima.

Last week, De Lima said she would skip parts of the hearing where Dayan would speak.

She explained that she doesn't want "to create an atmosphere" similar to the situation at the House justice committee hearing on November 24.

In that House committee hearing, lawmakers asked Dayan personal questions about his 7-year love affair with De Lima.

De Lima however said, "I trust my colleagues in the Senate that they are more professional, much more decent than their counterparts in the House." 

"I just want the members of the Senate who would be participating in that hearing on Monday to just really focus on the actual issue, on the real issue of that hearing," she added. –