After a massive manhunt, Ronnie Dayan, the elusive former driver-cum-lover (pardon the pun) of Senator Leila de Lima, finally falls. Seeing him live on TV for the first time gives us a better sense of who Dayan is. Suffice to say, he does not come across as one of the brighter bulbs in the room.
For some reason, Dayan sported that trademark ngiting aso (canine smile) as he faced the cameras and spoke whenever prompted by police chief Ronald ‘Bato’ dela Rosa. This brings us to the bizarreness of the televised press briefing itself. It came across like an episode of Eat Bulaga complete with canned laughter. Bato dela Rosa is quite the talker — responding to reporters’ questions and prompting Dayan to comment much the same way that EB hosts Tito, Vic, and Joey would a hapless contestant of one of their exploitative games in their programme.
Considering that the questions being thrown at them by the reporters in the briefing were moronic and infantile to begin with (e.g. “Will there be an attempt to link the Vice President to drugs?”, etc.), that Bato would not only respond but respond in a long-winded chattery showbiz-like matter is rather unbecoming of a police officer of his rank.
More importantly, what was Dayan doing talking to the media without legal representation? And what was Bato thinking actually encouraging him to do just that? As a police officer, he should actually be ensuring that Dayan is kept well informed of his options as a suspected offender — including his right to remain silent.
Even more shocking, Dayan’s first port of call following his arrest will be, guess what, a Congressional inquiry. What the hey?! Why does Congress get first dibs at cross-examining a suspected crook? Is it because this suspect happens to be a celebrity?
Well, the answers to those questions are quite obvious. We are, after all, talking about media mileage-hungry politicians under the pretense of spending taxpayers’ funds on initiatives mounted “in the aid of legislation”. But the real bottom line here is the question of what crime Dayan is actually accused of. According to an Inquirer report, Dayan was “ordered arrested for snubbing a congressional inquiry into the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison, where he was accused of collecting drug money from drug lords to fund De Lima’s campaign.”
The charges warranting this so-called “arrest”, it seems, were twice removed from the actual presumptive fact of a crime.
It is in instances like these that we are reminded just how much of a backward country the Philippines is. Showbiz cops, a suspect that is all smiles even after being on the run for days, and reporters greedily looking for an entertainment angle to an otherwise serious story to tell: It is, indeed, more fun in the Philippines. And everybody is laughing.
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