A narrow road cutting through green fields leads to a two-story white house in Barangay Galarin here where the driver of Sen. Leila de Lima allegedly lives.
On Wednesday, President Duterte linked De Lima to the illegal drug trade by claiming that her driver, Ronnie Palisoc Dayan, was her bagman who allegedly collected drug payoffs for her. He also claimed that the senator was in a relationship with Dayan.
The former human rights commissioner and former justice secretary had previously denounced then Davao City Mayor Duterte for his alleged links to the Davao Death Squad.
She also recently called for a Senate inquiry into the spate of killings that, she said, was a result of the President’s brutal war on illegal drugs.
The Galarin neighborhood was tight-lipped about the private lives of Dayan and De Lima when the Inquirer visited the village on Thursday.
Dayan’s neighbors would neither confirm nor deny the President’s allegation that the two-story house was De Lima’s gift to her driver.
Asked for comment on this story, De Lima declined to issue a statement.
Dayan also owns an orange bungalow located about 100 meters from the white house that, his neighbors said, took some time to build and was completed only in March this year.
The Galarin village chief, Rodolfo Licuanan, said Dayan’s children live in the orange house. “[Dayan] has two married children with their own families, while his youngest child is still in high school,” he said.
But Licuanan was uncertain as to whether Dayan’s wife lived with their children or if she lived in the Visayas, as previously reported.
Asked if De Lima indeed paid for the white house, Licuanan shook his head and said, “I don’t know.”
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