Cartoon by Roni Santiago

As a result of the relentless attacks on Senator Leila de Lima over her illicit relationship with her former driver Ronnie Dayan, she is no longer respectable and does not deserve anymore to be called “honorable.”

Her reputation is so thoroughly tarnished that she now looks like a low-class, pick-up woman waiting for customers at a street corner. It is a bitter fate for the former justice secretary who only a few months ago was elected member of the Senate, an august body.

And it seems the worse has yet to befall her. She herself said that she may end up being jailed or even killed.

Her trouble started when she criticized the extrajudicial killings caused by President Duterte’s war on illegal drugs. Duterte launched a counter-attack, accusing De Lima of being involved in the drug trade at National Bilibid Prisons (NBP). He even said he had watched a sex video involving De Lima and Dayan.

Since then De Lima’s reputation has gone in a downward spiral. Her coy admission of having a secret affair with Dayan in a TV interview with Winnie Monsod made matters worse. With her admission taken as evidence, she could be guilty of adultery and/or concubinage as Dayan has a legal wife.

Then came another lethal blow: She was directly linked to the drug trade by a confessed drug trader, Erwin Espinosa.

In a recent hearing being conducted by the House of Representatives on her alleged involvement in the drug trade at NBP, she was made the laughing stock with some congressmen asking Dayan pointed questions regarding their sordid affair. The questioning was no longer in aid of legislation, but the House leadership allowed it to go on for some time.

Dayan seemed to be very much willing to reveal all the lewd details of his dalliance with De Lima. He wanted to show that he is an important witness. With his testimony against his former lover, he could save himself from prosecution for his role in the drug trade.

Later, the House of Representatives issued a show-cause order to De Lima to compel her to explain why she should not be cited in contempt for allegedly advising Dayan to go into hiding after he received a subpoena directing him to appear at the hearing. But the senator flatly said she would defy the show-cause order.

All these developments have a negative impact on De Lima’s reputation not only as a senator but also as a woman. Due to her blackened reputation, she has also lost her credibility. People no longer believe whatever she says.

To spare herself from further humiliation and to show that she is still capable of honor, De Lima has no choice but to resign.


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