Alleged ‘illicit affair’ now part of ethics case vs De Lima
THE “immorality” issue raised against Senator Leila de Lima is now part of the ethics complaint filed against her at the Senate, lawyer Abelardo de Jesus disclosed on Wednesday.
De Jesus said he had submitted a supplemental affidavit to the Senate ethics committee being chaired by Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito’ Sotto III to include her alleged “illicit affair” with her former driver, Ronnie Dayan, based on President Rodrigo Duterte’s previous pronouncements.
His original complaint only contained de Lima’s alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade, which she vehemently denied.
“Nagdagag ako ng panibagong complaint, yung about immorality. Sinama ko na rin yung sinasabi ni President Duterte na meron syang elicit relationship sa kanyang driver. Yun ang sinama ko,” the complainant told INQUIRER.net over the phone.
“Tapos nagdagdag ako, nag-sign ako dun sa supplemental complaint —yung circumstantial evidence kung bakit dapat bigyan ng due course ng Senate ethics committee yung aking complaint,” he said.
De Jesus said among the circumstantial evidence of De Lima’s alleged immorality was her initial reaction that she would not dignify the allegation.
“Hindi normal reaction yun. Under the rule of evidence, hindi normal yun sa isang taong not innocent. Tapos sinabi ko rin na parang nag-i stonewall sya…Tapos may sinabi pa syang snippets of truth. That’s the first circumstantial evidence,” he said.
De Lima was emotional when she first learned of Duterte’s personal attack against her last month, calling her an “immoral woman” for allegedly having an affair with her former driver.
“Somebody told me that just now. It’s very surprising. My first reaction now [is] I don’t want to dignify that,” she said in an interview.
“It’s so foul, it’s character assassination. We are both professionals, the President and I. We are both public servants. I hope he doesn’t resort to those foul means. To me, that’s very foul,” she added.
De Jesus said the next circumstantial evidence was de Lima’s alleged statement that Dayan had long been separated from his wife.
“May sinabi pa sya na si Ronnie matagal nang hiwalay sa asawa yan e wala namang nagtatanong sa kanya ng question na yun. Bakit nya sinabi yun? So sinabi ko sa aking supplemental complaint na parang direct admission yun ng kanilang relationship,” de Jesus said
He said another circumstantial evidence was about the source of money allegedly used by De Lima’s’ driver to buy his own house.
“Dapat tinanong nya si Dayan, saan ba nanggaling yang sources mo at nakapagpagawa ka ng ganyang bahay? Kahit ba driver-body guard ba yan e,” the complainant said.
Asked if he had personal knowledge about all the allegations in the complaint, de Jesus said: “Maliwanag naman sa complaint ko , wala akong personal knowledge.”
“Base lahat dun sa ano (speech) ni President Duterte pero dun sa events afterwards, after the Duterte statement, doon ako nagbabase, yung mga circumstantial evidence ko, yun ang pinagbasehan ko,” he said.
The complainant said it would now be up to the committee to request the evidence from the President, saying he had “no right to produce” it.
De Jesus also insisted that the committee has jurisdiction over the complaint against De Lima, noting that one of the charges involves the issue of her alleged immorality.
“Di ba may mayroong doctrine na every civil servant, whether officer or an employee, must be of good moral character ? So inconsequential kung kelan ginawa yung mga offenses whether as senator or prior. Ang pinag uusaan dito yung good moral character ng tao e,” he pointed out.
If summoned, de Jesus said he is willing to face the Senate ethics body
Inquirer.net tried but failed to get de Lima’s reaction to the immorality issue that de Jesus had added to his ethics complaint against her.
De Lima had repeatedly denied though the allegations in previous interviews.
In one of the interviews, she made a bold statement: “I’m willing to resign. I’m willing to be shot in front of the President if there is real, I just have to qualify, real evidence—not coerced, not manufactured, not fabricated, not invented.” RAM/ac
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