De Lima should be brave as a lion

By: Atty. Ruphil F. Bañoc December 01,2016 - 09:50 PM

The wicked run when no one is chasing them, but an honest and righteous person is as brave as a lion.” Proverbs 28:1

As a radio broadcaster, I remember my experiences when my name was used to solicit and extort money from politicians. If my memory serves me right, I had experienced it not less than five times. One when I served as radio commentator of Bombo Radyo, another one was when I anchored a radio program at DYSS of GMA and thrice at DYHP of RMN, the station that I presently managed.

There were times that the ones who used my name were persons that I did not even know or were totally alien to my circle of friends. At other times, my name’s user was a person who is ranked higher than me in our company. Anyway he is not anymore connected with our company. There were times also that my name was name dropped by a subordinate.

In such circumstances, I also reacted strongly. I fearlessly talked to them face-to-face; showed my great disappointment and asked them not to include my name in their next modus operandi of soliciting and extorting money from politicians. I explained to them that I take good care of my name or credibility as a media practitioner because that is my only capital and I could not allow anyone to destroy it.

In addition, I am putting myself into a risky situation if I tolerate somebody to use my name because I am used to discussing sensitive issues in my radio program. The problem if the name-dropper would make the person subject of my commentary believe that he is ordered by me to negotiate for money in exchange of how an issue is being appreciated on-air.

With regard to my subordinate, I conducted a full-blown investigation, and the offense was proven. I gave a commensurate punishment. That person is not anymore connected with our company. But the sanction that I imposed sent a strong signal to others not to use the name of other people in illegal transactions.

I can just relate my experiences with Senator Leila de Lima’s fate and present crisis, granting that her name was just dragged into it. She has been accused as a drug protector by convicted drug lords inside the national penitentiary. They alleged that De Lima’s former driver, body guard and lover, Ronnie Dayan accepted money for and in her behalf.

Lately she is also accused by alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, son of slain Albuera, Leyte mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. and no less than her former driver, body guard and lover, Ronnie Dayan, to have received P8 million drug money from the former.

If indeed Senator Leila de Lima has never been involved in the illegal drug trade, then she should be thankful to her fellow senator Panfilo Lacson, chairman of the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, in initiating the two key witnesses who have implicated her to have a face-off at the resumption of the committee hearing this December 5, 2016.

This will be a great opportunity for De Lima to confront the two witnesses, Mr. Kerwin Espinosa and Ronnie Dayan. While the two will face each other, De Lima, who has the right to conduct cross examination in her turf in the Senate, can use such opportunity to clean her name.

Surely, her fellow senators are willing to donate their allotted time to her so that she could maximize her cross examination and observe the demeanor of the witnesses. If De Lima is clean, then she can boldly face her accusers.

Hopefully, the Senate will not dwell on personal matters like “climax” or signal number of a typhoon. I believe Sen. Lacson, who is known for his strict adherence to rules, is professional enough to manage his committee so that only issues that are impressed with a public interest will be focused in the investigation.

So minus personal matters, it will be an opportunity for De Lima to confront her accusers face to face. If Dayan was just name-dropping her to extort money from the drug lords, then she could very well afford to meet head-on with him especially that he was just her subordinate. However, if she opts not to confront him like what she did with Kerwin in the last hearing, can she blame the people if they suspect that Dayan used her name with her permission? Can she stop people from thinking the worst thing that she was the one who ordered Dayan to be her bagman?

If she could not show the bravery of a lion to confront the two key witnesses during the face-off, can she convince people, even her supporters, that her actions do not run counter to the normal human behavior? Is it not ironic if she remains silent contrary to her feisty performance in the previous investigations?

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TAGS: Cebu, dyHP, DYSS, GMA, Leila De Lima, modus-operandi

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