Speaker Alvarez dares De Lima: Face House probe
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez has asked Senator Leila de Lima to attend the impending congressional investigation on the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her stint as justice secretary to clear her name.
“Alam niyo ‘yung ganyang mga panawagan ano, na wala kang kinalaman at lahat, ‘yan ay mapapatunayan lamang if you subject yourself to investigation,” Alvarez said in an interview in Tunga, Leyte on Saturday.
(You know, these pleas of yours saying you had no involvement in this, it will only be proven if you subject yourself to investigation.)
“Kung talagang wala kang kasalanan, sila na rin ang nagsabi noon, aba’y kailangang harapin mo ‘yung problema (If you’re really not at fault, then you need to face the problem),” he added.
Alvarez, a close ally of President Rodrigo Duterte, reiterated that while Congress cannot force the senator to attend the investigation, it will be better if she shows up so that she can personally clarify some issues which she has direct knowledge of.
“Alam niyo, hindi naman natin siya pipilitin na mag-attend doon sa committee hearing ng House of Representatives. Kasi meron tayong tinatawag na inter-parliamentary courtesy. Ibibigay natin ‘yun, ‘yung (inter) parliamentary courtesy. Hindi natin siya pipilitin doon,” the House leader said.
(You know, we can’t force her to attend the committee hearing of the House of Representatives. Because we have inter-parliamentary courtesy. We’ll give her that. We won’t force her.)
“Ngunit kung may mga bagay doon na kailangan ay siya ay magsalita para maliwanagan, ay kung sa akin siguro ay mas mainam na siguro na pumunta ka para magpaliwanag (But if there are instances where she needs to talk to clarify things, in my opinion, it’s better that she goes to the hearing),” he said.
The President has accused De Lima of having a relationship with her former driver Ronnie Dayan, who is allegedly a collector of drug money from drug lords in the national penitentiary.
Duterte even released a “drug matrix” which allegedly shows De Lima’s involvement in the illegal drugs trade at the NBP.
In a pre-birthday celebration with reporters last week, De Lima said that she hoped that the President would stop hurling accusations against her.
“Sana tigilan na ako ng Pangulo (I wish the President would stop this). Sana he puts an end very soon to this whole madness,” the senator said.
Alvarez is one of the authors of House Resolution No. 105 seeking a “comprehensive investigation” on the alleged spread of illegal drugs at the NBP. JE/rga
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