Suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and Ronnie Dayan will have a face-off at the Senate hearing early next week. They are expected to explain how they allegedly gave money to Sen. Leila de Lima when she was still the Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary. Dayan, who earlier appeared in the House hearing, is De Lima’s former driver-bodyguard and lover.
Espinosa, son of the late Albuera Mayor Roland Espinosa Sr. who was killed inside his jail cell, is set to re-affirm his statements in the earlier Senate hearing this coming Monday, December 5, his lawyer, Leilani Villarino said. Last Monday, Senate committee on illegal drugs and public order Chair Senator Panfilo ‘Ping’ Lacson confirmed Dayan’s presence.
Kerwin Espinosa and Ronnie Dayan have both implicated Sen.De Lima in the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) when she was still he Justice secretary. And although their individual testimonies revealed that they delivered drug money to the Liberal Party (LP) senator, their statements have discrepancies that should be resolved.
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According to Kerwin, he met Dayan through Albuera chief of police Jovie Espenido, noting that the latter once tried to kill him. On the other hand, Ronnie Dayan denied knowing Espenido, but claimed he received money from Kerwin. He also said Kerwin gave him money 5 times, but Kerwin said it was only 4 times. The dates were also conflicting.
Dayan claimed that his relationship with De Lima lasted for 7 years, and ended in 2014. He said he never counted the money he received from Kerwin, noting he had no idea that the latter was a drug lord. The alleged bagman emphasized that their romance ended because De Lima had a new boyfriend, her other bodyguard named Warren Cristobal.
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Sen. De Lima, who recently said she will not honor the House’s show-cause order against her, did not ask questions to Kerwin during the Senate hearing. Instead, the neophyte senator said that she has forgiven him in all his lies. Nevertheless, she admitted her past extra-marital relationship with Dayan, but denied receiving drug money from anyone.