"What is done in private can have an impact on public service." This was a party-list lawmaker's defense against criticism that congressmen investigating the drug trade inside Bilibid crossed the line when they delved into the affair of Senator Leila de Lima and Ronnie Dayan.
The Driver-Bodyguard: Scorned Dayan recounts De Lima's 'betrayal' Speaking to radio DZMM, Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque said De Lima broke the law when she decided to have an affair with Dayan, her driver. He denied that getting the details of the affair in a public forum is a form of slut-shaming against De Lima.
"Hindi ko maintindihan kung saan nanggagaling yan. Nagkataon lang na babae siya pero ang mga paratang sa kanya ay hindi naman dahil siya ay babae. Ang paratang sa kanya - una, siya ay nagkaroon ng relasyon na hindi lang imoral pero ilegal dahil may asawa naman si Ronnie Dayan," he said.
(I don't understand where that is coming from. It just so happens that she is a woman but the accusation against her has nothing to do with her being a woman. The accusation against her - first of all, she had a relationship that is not just immoral but illegal because Dayan has a wife.)
He pointed out that De Lima knew that Dayan was still married, although the senator's marriage to Atty. Plaridel J. Bohol II had already been annulled at the time. He also noted that government officials give up their rights to privacy once they enter public service.
"Ang aking paninindigan, kapag ikaw ay isang public figure o taong gobyerno, wala kang pribadong buhay...Kapag ikaw ay pumasok ng public service, binigyan mo ng lisensiya ang publiko na busisiin ang pribado mong buhay kasi ang pribado mong pagkatao ay magkakaroon ng impact kung paano ka maninilbihan sa bayan," he said.
(My stand is - if you are a public figure or person in government, you have no private life...When you enter public service, you are giving the public a license to scrutinize your private life because your private life will have an impact on how you will serve the country.)
"Kung ikaw ay imoral sa iyong private life, siguradong magiging imoral ka rin sa iyong paglilingkod sa bayan." (If you are immoral in your private life, it is a certainty that you will be immoral in your service to the country.)
Roque said it was important to know more about the relationship to explain why Dayan allegedly served as bagman for De Lima. He also said De Lima, as a former human rights commission chair and justice secretary, should submit herself to higher ethical standards and resign after it was revealed that she allegedly tried to stop Dayan from testifying in the House of Representatives inquiry on the illegal drug trade inside New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Several witnesses, including self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, earlier said they gave protection money to Dayan to be handed over to De Lima, who was then justice secretary.
Dayan has admitted receiving money from Espinosa but denied knowing that the cash was drug money. Congressmen earlier noted inconsistencies on the dates and number of times Espinosa allegedly handed cash to Dayan. De Lima has admitted her relationship with Dayan but denied receiving any money from the driver.