‘Be strong, Leila.’
This was Ronnie Dayan’s message to his former boss, Senator Leila de Lima, even as she continues to fight allegations of illegal drug trade involvement, particularly in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
“Magpakatatag siya. Labanan niya ang mga binabato sa kanya (She should be strong. She should fight these accusations),” the NBP drug trade inquiry witness said in a press briefing Tuesday night, his first night under custody at the House of Representatives (HOR).
Dayan gave these inspiring words to De Lima after he was informed by a House reporter of the female senator’s wish, which is for the HOR to ensure the safety her self-admitted former lover.
This prompted House Majority Floor Leader Rudy Fariñas of Ilocos Norte to say, in reference to Dayan: “We assure Senator De Lima that we will treat him nicely.” Also present at the briefing was House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Dayan, who is a married man, claimed that his relationship with now-Senator de Lima, which began in 2007 when she was still with the Commission on Human Rights, lasted for seven years.
They don’t talk anymore
Despite Dayan’s message, he admitted to being hurt, particularly when De Lima severed contact while he was in hiding.
“Hindi po siya kumontak sa kin. Maski isang text, wala akong na-receive sa kanya (She didn’t contact me. I didn’t receive even one message from her),” he said.
“Medyo masama po [ang loob] pero hindi naman totally masama (I’m upset with her, but not totally),” he added.
Dayan said he was forced to seek financial assistance from the senator as there came a time when he hardly had anything to eat anymore. “Pinatext ko sa anak ko na humingi ng financial kasi halos hindi na po ako nakakakain. Hindi siya nag-reply (I told my daughter to text her and ask for financial help since I hardly ate anymore. She didn’t reply).”
Dayan didn’t say what caused their relationship to end, but bared that he resigned as De Lima’s driver-bodyguard in 2015.