MANILA, Dec. 12 (PNA) — House leaders on Monday filed another ethics complaint against Sen. Leila de Lima for barring former security aide and alleged drug money bagman Ronnie Dayan from appearing before the congressional probe into illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
The complaint, which is considered to be the third, was personally brought by Rep. Reynaldo Umali to the office of Senate Majority Leader and Chair of the Senate Ethics Committee, Vicente “Tito” Sotto III.
However, the complaint was drafted by Umali, House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez.
Umali said that filing the ethics complaint simply meant that De Lima, former Justice Secretary, has been “violating the law, violating the rules of congress, and violating her oath as a public (official).”
“Premises considered, for violating (Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code); the Rules of the Congress, of which she is a sitting member, her Oath of Office as a Senator of the Republic; and her disrespect for a co-equal chamber which she called a kangaroo court, the corresponding disciplinary measures must be imposed to penalize Senator De Lima for her unethical acts, conduct and behavior,” the complaints read.
Umali further described De Lima’s advising and inducing Dayan to hide as “tantamount to inducing disobedience to a summon issued by the Congress.”
“As a Senator, Secretary of Justice and a lawyer. When she advised or induced Dayan to hide and not to attend the House inquiry, we felt that she violated not only the rules but the law which is Article 150 of the Reversed Penal Code which is disobedience to a summon,” Umali said.
The same complaint also asked the Senate Ethics Committee to discipline De Lima in accordance with the Rules of the Senate.
Sotto, in a separate interview, told reporters that that De Lima could only face expulsion from the Senate if four out of the seven-member Senate Ethics Committee would vote for her expulsion.
He further said that the complaint will need two-third vote from the Senate plenary for De Lima’s expulsion.
He said that he will give his members a copy of the complaint. However, doubted that hearings could be conducted before the Senate goes on a Christmas break on Dec. 17. (PNA)