De Lima downplays Dayan endorsing Ragos, Bucayu

MANILA — Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday admitted that her former security aide and alleged drug money bagman Ronnie Dayan did recommend the appointment of two former officials she worked with when she was then Justice Secretary but was quick to say that it was no big deal.

De Lima explained that although Dayan did endorse the appointment of National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) Deputy Director Rafael Ragos and former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Franklin Bucayu, the final decision was still up to her.

“Yes, inano nya yan si Ragos and Bucayu (Yes, he somehow recommended the appointment of Ragos and Bucayu) but it’s not because it’s his recommendation,” De Lima told reporters in an interview.

“My friends, relatives and fellow workers in government, it’s natural that some recommend. The final decision rests in me,” she added.

Dayan, during Monday’s hearing, claimed that Ragos and Bucayu had given him Php 15,000 to Php 30,000 five times after he recommended them for their posts.

The former Justice Secretary earlier said that she opted not to attend the hearing with Dayan present but eventually turned up halfway through it.

“I did not intend to attend, kaya lang when I saw that none of my colleagues are raising the issue on the call of Bong Go and Marcos, said sayang naman kung walang magtanong tungkol dyan (it would be a waste if I would not ask about it),” De Lima said.

De Lima earlier said reliable sources told her that Dela Rosa was referring to President Rodrigo Duterte’s special assistant Christopher “Bong” Go. However, the President recently clarified that it was him and not his right hand man.

The President said that he ordered the reinstatement of Marcos so that the PNP could watch him.

She said her second reason for attending the hearing was because she saw Dayan, while monitoring the hearing on TV, that looking like “he went through a lot of pressure.”

The Senator reiterated that despite her former colleagues implicating her in the illegal drug trade, she knew that they were only doing it for a compelling reason such as a threat to their lives.

She admitted that she felt pity for Dayan, her former partner, and felt she had a moral obligation to help him in the current situation even trying to convince him to tell the truth. Azer Parrocha/