De Lima's two facet: Projecting herself both as a human rights advocate and a victim of human rights violation - The Daily Sentry

Sunday, July 29, 2018

De Lima's two facet: Projecting herself both as a human rights advocate and a victim of human rights violation

Detained senator Leila De Lima was recently given an award by Liberal International / photo file from Inquirer

Manila, Philippines – Detained Senator Leila De Lima has been recently compared to mythical Janus – usually being depicted as having two faces, by projecting herself both as a human rights advocate and a victim of human rights violation.

In an article with unknown author by Daily Tribune, De Lima was associated to Roman god called Janus for showing two facet.

Janus is the god of beginnings, gates, transitions, time, duality, doorways,[1] passages, and endings. He is usually depicted as having two faces. Photo from

Recently, the detained senator was given an award by the Liberal International (LI) called the “Prize for Freedom” award, making her the only second Filipino cited by LI with the said award after the late Cory Aquino in 1987.

The article also states that De Lima’s image is being projected good though awards contrary to government claims that she was a protector of illegal drugs trade in the National Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Aside from this recent award, De Lima was also conferred with “Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender” award during the Ignite Awards for Human Rights by the Amnesty International in May 2018.

However, at the back of these acknowledgements, are three criminal charges against the senator before the local courts in connection to her alleged role in the proliferation of drugs inside the NBP. *

Among the three cases of De Lima is one count of violation of Section 5 of the Dangerous Drugs Act for the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs.”, which was associated with allegations that she and former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos extorted money from the Bilibid inmates involved in illegal substance operations.

She was also charged with a second count of drug trade, along with the former BuCor chief Franklin Jesus Bucayu and his staff Wilfredo Elli, inmate Jaybee Sebastian, De Lima’s driver and admitted lover Ronnie Dayan, her former security aide Joenel Sanchez and a certain Jad de Vera.

De Lima's former driver and admitted lover, Ronnie Dayan / photo from Google (ctto)

De Lima’s third case was for protecting and extorting money from high-profile inmate Peter Co, she was charged together with De Vera.*

The Daily Tribune also back tracked the events that led to President Rodrigo Duterte’s expose about De Lima’s alleged involvement with illegal substance trade, her arrest and detention – all of these before the subsequent awards she had been bestowed with that countered the allegations against her.

Here is the sequence of events, as gathered by the Daily Tribune:

15 December 2014 – Authorities conducted a drug raid on the New Bilibid Prisons, leading to the discovery of “VIP treatment for some high-profile inmates and drug lords.” A big amount of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) was found along with various other illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia in many jail cells.

De Lima then conducted a media tour of the prison facility.

In the cell of convicted robbery gang leader Herbert Colangco alone, the raiding team seized three vaults containing five Rolex, one Patek Philippe, one Cartier and one Panerai watch worth several million pesos. He also possessed cash of various currencies and luxury wallet brands such as Prada, Louis Vuitton and Hermes.

25 May 2016 – Shortly after his victory, President Duterte warned De Lima that he will look into and prove De lima’s involvement in the existence of shabu laboratories inside the national penitentiary.*

21 July 2016 – Congress sought to probe the drugs syndicates operating within the Bilibid when De Lima was still Department of Justice secretary.

25 August 2016 – President Duterte directly linked De Lima to the drug trade. The Chief Executive said he had in his possession a “drug matrix” to prove his claim. Mr. Duterte then released the “drug matrix” which De Lima called a “scrap paper.”

20 September 2016 – The House Committee on Justice started its probe on the Bilibid drugs operations. De Lima refused to appear in what she called a “sham inquiry” at the House.

21 September 2016 – On just the second day of the probe, invited drug personalities who were inmates at the NBP claimed to have raised funds for De Lima’s 2016 senatorial bid.

6 October 2016 – A marathon hearing revealed De Lima received more drug payoffs. But claims of her relationship with her driver, Ronnie Dayan, hogged the headlines.

10 October 2016 – Sebastian claimed to have given De Lima P14 million in six months to fund De Lima’s senatorial bid.

24 November 2016 – The probe went to high gear as Dayan showed up at the hearings following his 23 February 2016 arrest in Pangasinan.

Dayan got all ears of the attendees as he related savory details of his relationship with De Lima.

17 February 2017 – Three drug complaints were filed against De Lima before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC).

23 February 2017 – Judge Juanita Guerrero of Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 ordered the arrest of De Lima.

Warrants for the arrest of Dayan and Ragos were also released.

24 February 2017 – Almost without sleep after spending the night at the Senate, De Lima surrendered to police at around 8 a.m. and was brought to the Muntinlupa RTC before she was transferred to Camp Crame in the afternoon.

Source: Daily Tribune