REITERATING that no one is above the law, the chairman of the House Committee on Justice yesterday said they plan to file administrative and criminal cases this week against Sen. Leila de Lima for ignoring the show cause order that the panel served at the Senate last Tuesday directing her to explain within 72 hours why she should not be cited in contempt.
However, Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, the panel chairman, said they expected De Lima to snub their order which stemmed from her alleged action “exerting undue influence” on her former driver-bodyguard and ex-lover Ronnie Dayan to keep him from attending the congressional probe on the proliferation of illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) during her stint as secretary of the Department of Justice (DoJ).
Umali said his committee will lodge a complaint against De Lima before the Senate Committee on Ethics, file a disbarment case before the Supreme Court, and pursue criminal complaints and cases before the Department of Justice (DoJ) and a regional trial court for “violation of article 150 of Revised Penal Code (disobedience to summons) and probably for indirect contempt.”
“Within the week siguro [ang filing]. This coming week maaaring gawin na ‘yan (filing) kasi ‘yung mga lawyer namin sa committee on justice and lawyer ng House of Representatives are already working on it,” Umali told Rowena Salvacion’s radio morning program Buena Manong balita over dzBB Sunday.
“Probably by Monday (today), we will get out first submission of the draft complaints. Upon approval of that, I think the leadership of the House will not waste any minute to file it. Puwedeng lahat ‘yun i-file. So we’ll see,” Umali said, adding that the option to recommend to the House leadership the issuance of an arrest warrant against De Lima for ignoring the show cause order remains.