A PRIVATE individual has “preempted” the House of Representatives in filing an ethics complaint against Sen. Leila de Lima for allegedly preventing her former driver-lover from attending a congressional investigation into a flourishing drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said that Abelardo de Jesus yesterday filed a supplemental complaint against De Lima before the Senate Committee on Ethics which he chairs.
The House’s justice committee reportedly intends to file an ethics complaint against De Lima after Ronnie Dayan testified that she had prevented him from testifying at the House’s probe into the drug trade at the NBP for fear that the lawmakers would only dwell on their love affair.
Asked what he would do if the House filed a complaint against De Lima, Sotto said: “P’wede kung gusto nila. Kaso meron ng nag-file ng bago eh. I just received it today and I just sent it to the other members of the committee today.”
The other members of the Ethics Committee are Senators Panfilo Lacson, Gregorio Honasan II, Grace Poe, Risa Hontiveros, Manny Pacquiao and Francis Escudero.
“May supplemental complaint na file si De Jesus and this time it involves (the violation of) Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code. Article 150 of RPC is disobedience to summons. Parang ganun ang title nun. For example, restraining a person or another from attending summons of the national assembly which is the Congress,” Sotto said.
Pressed whether the ethics complaint to be filed by a member of the House will have more weight than De Jesus’, Sotto said: “Pareho lang yun because the issue is the same.”
Asked whether the House can still file an ethics case against De Lima, he said: “Kung kuntento na sila rito sa nag-file na ito, hindi na sila kailangan mag-file.”
“Ito namang complaint na ito p’wede namin i-tackle as soon as possible. Kakausapin ko lang ‘yung mga members namin kung kailan kami pare-parehong p’wede kasi ito walang issue ng jurisdiction because the alleged complaint was done when she was already a senator,” said Sotto.
De Jesus last September filed a complaint against De Lima before the Senate ethics panel for alleged betrayal of public trust, gross misconduct, serious misrepresentation, and grievous negligence.
De Jesus said that the basis of his complaint was the President’s speech last April 17 at Camp Crame during the 115th Police Service anniversary accusing her of “collecting money through her driver” from the narco inmates at the NBP to fund her electoral campaign for a Senate seat last May 9 national polls.
An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) in Saudi Arabia was the second person who sought the expulsion of Sen. Leila de Lima from the upper chamber for allegedly committing “treason” when she invited the United Nations to look into the extrajudicial killings (EJKs) of suspected drug dealers in the country.
Ronillo Pulmano, working as biomedical technology/germ research specialist and based at Al Hammadi Hospital Riyadh at the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, filed a complaint against De Lima before the Senate Committee on Ethics for alleged breach of public trust and treason.
Pulmano claimed that De Lima’s move to invite the UN to meddle in the country’s affairs had “raised serious concern towards her intention” and made OFWs the laughingstock of the international community for opposing the all-out anti-drug campaign of President Rodrigo Duterte.
VACC presses case
The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and former ranking officials of the National Bureau of Investigation yesterday submitted more evidence before the Office of the Bar Confidant in support of the disbarment complaint they filed against Senator Leila de Lima.
The supplemental complaint was filed following revelations of De Lima’s former driver-lover Ronnie Dayan and daughter Hanna Mae during the Committee on Justice of the House of Representatives investigation into the illegal drugs trade at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP).
The group noted that during the hearing, it was shown that in a Viber message sent through Dayan’s daughter, that De Lima urged her former driver-lover to ignore the House Committee summons, and instead go into hiding for the meantime.