Alvarez to De Lima: Relationship with subordinate is sexual harassment
MANILA — House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez apologized on Monday for “a few questions” on Senator Leila de Lima’s love life that might have crossed the line, but lashed back at the criticism that the conduct of lawmakers amounted to sexism and harassment.
The Speaker said information that has surfaced in the House congressional hearing on the Bilibid drug trade, showed that De Lima sexually harassed her subordinate, former bodyguard and lover Ronnie Dayan. “‘Di ba, yung paggamit sa subordinate, sexual harassment ‘yon? Babae lang ba ang naha-harass? (Isn’t the act of using your subordinates sexual harassment too? Are women the only ones who may be harassed?)” Alvarez said, exclaiming that there have been a lot of commentary on the House’s Thursday hearing.
He also defended the line of questioning as necessary to reveal De Lima’s “character.”
“Kailangang ipakita sa taumbayan kung anong klaseng tao ito, ano ang kanyang karakter (We have to show the people what kind of person she is, what her character is),” Alvarez argued.
Still, he acknowledged that “a few questions” might have been excessive.
“Basta sa question na sa tingin niyo, ‘di maganda, eh ‘di mag-apologize na ako (For questions you see as improper, I would apologize). I apologize sincerely,” he said. SFM