MANILA — Members of the House of Representatives on Thursday filed a complaint for disobedience before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Ronnie Dayan, former driver and alleged lover of Senator Leila De Lima due to the summons issued by Congress in connection with the probe on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) in Muntinlupa City.
House Committee on Justice Chairman and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali personally filed the complaint against Dayan at the DOJ for violation of Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code for disobedience to summons issued by the national assembly, its committee or subcommittees.
Joining Umali as complainant are House Speaker and Davao Del Norte First District Rep. Pantaleon Alvarez and House Majority Floor Leader and Ilocos Norte First District Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas.
During the House probe, several high profile inmates testified that it was Dayan who acted as “bagman” to collect funds from Bilibid inmates especially during election campaign for De Lima.
In a three-page complaint-affidavit, Alvarez, Fariñas, Umali said summons were sent to Dayan to shed light on their investigation regarding the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the NBP.
Congress sent a subpoena to Dayan on Sept. 28 and Oct. 6 to attend the House inquiry but he failed to do so prompting the Lower Chamber to issue a show cause order and eventually cited him in contempt and order his arrest.
“Dayan’s failure to appear during the Committee hearing on October 6 and to respond to the Show Cause of Order without any legal excuse is disobedience to summons lawfully issued by the House of Representatives on violation of the Revised penal Code,” the complaint said.
Dayan was eventually arrested last month. After his arrest, the Congressional inquiry was reopened.
During the hearing, it was revealed that De Lima instructed Dayan not to appear in Congress. The Senator gave the instruction through a text message to Dayan’s daughter. De Lima was already charged by the DOJ in court for the same offense.
Violation of Article 150 has a penalty of arresto mayor or one month and 1 day up to six months of imprisonment or a fine ranging from P200 to P1,000 or both (fine and imprisonment).
Last Dec. 13, the Members of the House of Representatives filed a criminal complaint before the DOJ against De Lima for ignoring the summons issued by Congress and for instructing Dayan to snub the House probe.
In their complaint, De Lima was invited to attend the Congressional inquiry on the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the NBP on Sept. 20 and 21 and Oct. 5 and 6.
“Respondent opted to ignore all invitations and failed to attend any of the hearings conducted by the Committee. Worse, respondent even insulted the House of Representative by calling its Committee a kangaroo court/committee and its proceedings a sham,” the complaint stated.
A subpoena was also issued to Dayan but it was also ignored. Then, on Oct. 6, after failing to attend the hearing, a show cause order was issued ordering him to explain why he should not be cited for contempt.
Then, on Oct. 10, he was ordered arrested by Congress.
After Dayan’s arrest, the Congressional inquiry was reopened last month. During the hearing, it was revealed that De Lima instructed Dayan not to appear in Congress. The Senator gave the instruction through a text message to Dayan’s daughter.
“As an incumbent Senator, former Secretary of Justice and a lawyer, advising and inducing Mr. Dayan to hide and not to attend in the House inquiry for which he was duly summoned is tantamount to inducing disobedience to summons issued by Congress of which she is a sitting member,” the complaint stated.
An ethics complaint was also filed by Alvarez before the Senate against De Lima.
De Lima is also facing four complaints filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala, high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian, and the NBI were stemmed from senator’s alleged violation of Republic Act 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act. PNA-northboundasia.com