Published November 28, 2016 3:57pm
By MARK MERUEÑAS, GMA News
Sen. Leila de Lima on Monday confirmed telling her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan to hide and not attend the House inquiry on the alleged drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
In an interview with reporters, De Lima stressed she was merely "advising" Dayan and not "ordering him" when she responded to a text message from his daughter, asking about whether her father would be arrested for repeatedly snubbing the House probe.
"I stand by my advice. It was an advice and I stand by it," said De Lima, accused by the Duterte administration of involvement in the illegal drug trade while she was Justice secretary.
De Lima said she was not "obstructing justice" when she gave her advice to Dayan, but was actually "obstructing persecution."
"Asan ang hustisya sa ginagawa nila sa akin? Why call it obstruction of justice. Mas maganda ang itawag natin diyan obstruction of persecution. I am trying to obstruct the acts of persecution being done to me by this administration," De Lima said.
The House justice panel last week said it would issue a show cause order to De Lima, asking her to explain why she should not be cited for contempt for telling Dayan not to attend the House anto-drug probe.
During last Thursday's hearing, Dayan revealed to the members of the House committee the alleged exchange of text messages between De Lima and her daughter.
"Ang reply niya sa anak ko, 'huwag mo na siyang pa-attend... huwag siyang umattend diyan, pagkakaguluhan lang siya diyan.' Sabi niyang ganun, 'pagtatawanan lang kaming dalawa, magiging kahiya-hiya kami diyan na dalawa," recounted Dayan.
The text message was sent at 6:14 p.m. on October 1, 2016. Dayan disclosed the phone number used to send the message.
"Gustung-gusto kong attendan yung hearing pero ang sabi ni Ma'am sa text niya sa aking anak... 'Pakisabi sa kanya magtago lang siya.... magtago lang muna siya," he added. —ALG, GMA News