De Lima: Dayan 'turned into' one of my accusers

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

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) —  Senator Leila De Lima said Wednesday that she believes her former driver and bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan, has been turned against her.

Dayan, who was tagged as the collector of drug money that allegedly funded De Lima's senatorial campaign, was arrested Tuesday morning in La Union.

Read: Justice Department: De Lima's former driver, alleged drug money bagman Ronnie Dayan arrested in La Union

In a press briefing at the Batasang Pambansa on Tuesday night, Dayan said he collected money for De Lima from suspected drug lord Kerwin Espinosa. At the time, De Lima was Justice Secretary.

Read: Dayan: I got money from Kerwin for De Lima

Espinosa on Wednesday testified at the Senate hearing on the death of his father, Albuera, Leyte Mayor Rolando Espinosa. Espinosa told senators that he gave ₱8 million in drug money to Dayan for De Lima's campaign.

"It appears that Ronnie Dayan has been successfully turned into another one of my accusers by this Administration," De Lima said in a statement. "And even as they portrayed Ronnie Dayan as the missing link to their drug conspiracies, his arrest and so-called admissions yesterday present an opportunity for me to put this issue to a close."

De Lima also said she hopes the authorities accord proper and humane treatment towards Dayan and the other witnesses against her.

"I still hope that the authorities, in the exercise of their duties, act within the bounds of the law, without abusing their powers and using force and intimidation on purported witnesses, including Ronnie Dayan," she said.

De Lima said she looks forward to facing the accusations in court.

"Nevertheless, I welcome this as an opportunity to clear my name as soon as all these fiction stories of the underworld are weaved into a complete but grotesque tapestry and finally filed before a court of law where I can properly defend myself, hopefully this time without the fanfare and the drama of my persecution before the media," she said.