De Lima’s driver set to testify in proposed House inquiry

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Senator Leila de Lima’s former driver, Ronnie Palisoc Dayan, is set to become a star witness in the proposed inquiry to be conducted by the House of Representatives.

The planned House inquiry is regarding the alleged proliferation of the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during De Lima’s term as the Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary.

“The probe is for the sake of transparency and accountability. If it involved the driver, Congress must send an invitation for him to air his side,” Deputy Speaker Karlo Nograles said during a press conference.

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Nograles was referring to the accusations from President Rodrigo Duterte that De Lima’s driver was sent to the Bilibid to collect drug money from syndicates.

House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez led eleven House leaders in filing House Resolution No. 105, which calls for an investigation of De Lima’s connection to the alleged illegal drug trade in the Bilibid.

If the inquiry pushes through, De Lima would also be given an invitation to share her side of the story.

“We have to ask her what went wrong. She and other officials are in the best position to explain to us what happened,” Deputy Speaker Sharon Garin said.

Deputy Speaker Raneo Abu added that the Congress had no choice but to probe De Lima since she was the DOJ chief during the Bilibid raid in December 2014. Authorities were able to find a shabu laboratory, guns, jewelry, cash and luxury areas for drug lords during the raid.

President Duterte had also disclosed that he already has evidence linking De Lima to the drug proliferation at the NBP.

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However, De Lima had denied all of the accusations regarding her involvement in illegal drugs but has remained silent on the issue of her alleged romantic relationship with her former driver.

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