De Lima admits contributing money for Dayan’s house, but insists it came from private earnings

  • Senator Leila De Lima has admitted giving money for the construction of Dayan’s house in Pangasinan
  • However, she denied the amount was worth P2-M as Dayan earlier claimed
  • She also asserted that the money came from her earnings as private lawyer and not from government funds

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila De Lima has finally admitted she gave former driver and lover Ronnie Dayan some money for the construction of his house in Pangasinan, but denied the amount was worth P2-M as the latter previously claimed at the Lower House hearing.

At the same time, De Lima also insisted the money she contributed came from her earnings as a lawyer during her private practice and not from drug money she allegedly received during her term as Justice secretary.

“Alam mo noon kasi that was before I joined public service. Noong nagpagawa siya niyan, nag-contribute lang po ako by tranches,” De Lima told reporters in an interview on Tuesday, November 29.

[You know then, that was before I joined public service. When he constructed the house, I contributed by tranches.]

“Pero imposible pong total of P2 million ‘yun. By tranches po ‘yan, at tulong ko lang po ‘yan,” she said; asserting further that there were no government funds involved either, as many people have insinuated.

[But a total of P2-M was impossible. That was by tranches, and it was an assistance.]

Earlier at the House hearing, Dayan claimed in his sworn statement that he asked P120,000 from De Lima to purchase the lot. He allegedly went on to construct the house using P800,000 from his own savings and the P2-M contributed by De Lima.

He also admitted their relationship begun in 2007 when he became her driver-bodyguard while she was still working in a private law firm. De Lima only joined the government a year later after being appointed as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights by then President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

She officially became a member of the Aquino Cabinet as Justice Secretary in 2010 before running for senator last May elections.

As for her former boyfriend, De Lima said she will never speak ill of someone with whom she had a relationship with.

“I’m not that kind of person to speak ill of someone who had been a part of my life. That’s not me,” said De Lima. “I will never do that to him. Whatever happened in our relationship is just between the two of us. He knows who did wrong, and why it ended.”