The camp of Senator Leila de Lima has stressed that the judicial affidavit of her former aide and co-accused Ronnie Dayan adopted before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC), Branch 204 on Friday, May 13 further affirmed the senator’s innocence from the illegal drug trade case inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Lawyer Rolly Peoro, one of De Lima’s legal counsels, confirmed that Dayan’s judicial affidavit was parallel to that of former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos’s recent recantation saying that De Lima was not involved in the illegal drug trade.
“It is very consistent, very parallel,” Peoro said. “Actually, it confirms na wala talagang delivery (that there was no delivery of drug money) to Senator Leila de Lima.”
During the hearing, Dayan affirmed his judicial affidavit recanting the statements he made during the 2016 congressional inquiry implicating De Lima in the illegal drug trade inside the national penitentiary. In the said judicial affidavit, he denied getting P10 million from Ragos in 2012.
In a manifestation filed before the Muntinlupa City RTC, Branches 204 and 256 last April 4, Dayan said the statements he made before Congress “were made under due duress and without the benefit of counsel of his choice”.
Ragos, for his part, retracted his previous statements, affidavits, and court testimonies that he delivered money to De Lima and Dayan in an affidavit notarized last April 30.
According to Peoro, Dayan’s statement is also consistent with the testimony of self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa who also recanted all of his allegations against De Lima in a counter-affidavit filed at the Department of Justice (DOJ) on April 28.
With the new development on the case, De Lima’s camp is hopeful that the court would reverse the earlier denial of their demurrer to evidence or would grant their new motion to dismiss the case.
De Lima has consistently and firmly asserted her innocence in the cases filed against her. Due to lack of evidence, one of the three drug charges against her has already been dismissed, which she called a “moral victory.” The two other cases are still pending.