De Lima: Disbarment case a circus, complete with clowns
A coalition of anticrime crusaders has filed a disbarment case against embattled Senator Leila De Lima, accusing her of immorality over an alleged love affair with her driver fronting as her bagman in an illegal drugs operation inside the national penitentiary.
READ: Ex-NBI officials, VACC call for De Lima disbarment
De Lima branded the case as part of a “circus” made up of “clowns, shady persons” operating at the whim of President Rodrigo Duterte, her chief accuser.
The case was filed by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) founding chair Dante Jimenez, former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala, and jueteng whistleblower Sandra Cam.
They urged the Supreme Court to disbar De Lima for gross immorality for allegedly carrying on an affair with her bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan, who has been in hiding since he was tagged by convicted drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison as her bagman during her time as justice secretary.
“All these taken together leads to the inescapable conclusion that respondent (De Lima) was grossly imprudent in managing her personal affairs. The fact remains that her relationship with Ronnie Dayan, a married man, is grossly immoral. Worse, she never denied such relationship,” the complainants said in their filing with the Office of the Bar Confidant.
They claimed that De Lima violated the Lawyers’ Oath, and Rule 1.01, Canon 7 and Rule 7.03 of the Code of Professional Responsibility and “failed in her duty as a lawyer to adhere unwaveringly to the highest standards of morality.”
The complainants mocked De Lima for allegedly trying to live the role of the late American singer, Whitney Houston, in the 1992 movie “The Bodyguard”, where her character fell in love with her security aide, portrayed by actor Kevin Costner.
“Unfortunately, the closest that she can relate to Whitney Houston is the death of her legal profession through illegal drugs,” said the complainants.
De Lima, however, is not laughing.
“This is all part of a circus, and just like in all circuses, clowns are part of the amusement,” she said in a text message.
She said she was dismayed at how Jimenez has brought down the integrity and credibility of the VACC.
“Mr. Jimenez is a creepy clown with a horrible dark mask, obsessed at being in the headlines instead of finding out the truth and justice for the thousands of victims of unresolved drug-related killings in our country,” she said.
She accused the two former NBI agents of getting back at her because she had fired them for “questionable practices” when she was the justice secretary.
She called Esmeralda, Lasala, and Cam as a “circus act of performing monkeys” under the “master puppeteer” that was the president.
“They are also using Duterte’s obsessions with my destruction to enable themselves, by currying favor with the President, and in doing so attempt to stay relevant despite the banality of their role in this circus,” De Lima said.
Jimenez, Esmeralda and Lasala had previously filed a separate case against de Lima for violation of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act for allegedly leading a conspiracy to allow drug lords to run their illicit trade from inside the NBP.
De Lima has denied these allegations. She said Dayan has remained in hiding for fear that he would be coerced by the “clowns” to testify against her, such as admit to the alleged sex video between them.
This is the third disbarment case against de Lima filed by the camps of the late Chief Justice Renato Corona and former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. TVJ