Dayan faces charges for snubbing House probe 

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Ronnie Dayan (L), Sen. Leila de Lima (R)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Leaders of the House of Representatives on Thursday filed a criminal complaint against Ronnie Dayan, former driver-bodyguard and alleged bagman of Senator Leila De Lima.

A case was filed against Dayan before the Justice Department for his alleged violation of Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code or for disobeying summons issued by the National Assembly.

The complainants, House Justice Committee Chairman Reynaldo Umali, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, said Dayan snubbed their order for him to attend an October 6 legislative hearing on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the National Bilibid Prison.

They said he also failed to respond to the show-cause order which demanded an explanation for his absence.

 

A case has also been filed against De Lima before the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court. The Justice Department's assistant state prosecutor said De Lima "willingly, knowingly, and unlawfully advised" Dayan to hide and ignore the House hearing despite a subpoena.

Dayan admitted he skipped the probe upon De Lima's advice. After over a month of hiding and following his arrest in La Union, he was finally forced to attend the Lower House hearing on November 24.

Read: Dayan: De Lima urged me to skip probe, hide

If found guilty, Dayan and De Lima may be imprisoned for up to six months, according to the Revised Penal Code.

Umali said it would be "absurd" to charge De Lima but let Dayan go, considering both ignored summons.

Umali explained they decided to file charges against Dayan only now because they waited for him to be placed under the Justice Department's conditional witness protection program, which never happened. Dayan was also granted immunity when he testified at the House probe.

Dayan is now in his hometown in Pangasinan, after the Senate lifted a contempt ruling against him for allegedly telling lies in its hearing. Senators expected Dayan to jog his memory and remember facts for the next inquiry set for January.

Lawmakers wanted to hear Dayan's testimony after several witnesses accused him of serving as bagman to De Lima - allegedly demanding millions of pesos of drug money from inmates to fund De Lima's 2016 senatorial campaign. Both have denied allegations.

 

CNN Philippines' Correspondent Anjo Alimario contributed to this report.