- The President admitted listening to the conversation between De Lima and her driver at least once
- He described the exchange between the two as “mostly lover’s talk”
- He also admitted receiving the ‘intercepts’ of the wiretapped conversation from another country
MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte has admitted listening to a wiretapped conversation between embattled Senator Leila De Lima and her driver and alleged lover, Ronnie Dayan, at least on one occasion.
Duterte said the ‘intercepts’ were provided to him by a ‘friendly country’ although he admitted it cannot be used as evidence in court to prove his allegation against De Lima.
The president declined to provide more details but said the conversation he heard between the two are mostly “lover’s talk.”
“No, of course not. I only listened to it once, but what I mostly heard there: Lover’s talk” Duterte said during a press conference on Sunday, August 21.
“You will not be interested to hear it because tsismosa ka talaga pagka ganoon (because you’ll be a gossiper if that’s the case.),” he added.
Duterte reiterated that De Lima maintained an illicit relationship with her driver, which, in turn supposedly gave rise to the corruption at the National Bilibid Prison.
Dayan, the driver, according to Duterte was De Lima’s bagman and courier between Bilibid inmates and the senator who allegedly gave the authority to allow inmates to enjoy special privileges inside the prison.
“Because of that relationship with her driver, which I termed immoral because the driver has a family and a wife, gave rise to the corruption of what was happening inside the national penitentiary,” Duterte alleged.
Earlier, De Lima denied the president’s allegations and said the latter may have received inaccurate and fabricated information from some sources who are out to pin her down to the illegal drugs activities inside Bilibid.
He also appealed to Duterte not to harm her driver who has reportedly gone into hiding after receiving death threats following the president’s expose.
The senator also said she is willing to be shot in front of the president if the accusations against her are proven to be true.