File ethics raps, Senate tells House
Sen. Panfilo Lacson advised the House of Representatives on Saturday to file an ethics complaint against Sen. Leila de Lima before the upper chamber instead of issuing a show cause order to explain why she advised her former driver and lover Ronnie Dayan against appearing before a congressional inquiry.
“I would rather that the House committee on justice file the complaint with the Senate ethics committee instead of taking matters into their own hands, which may be construed as confrontational,” said Lacson, vice chair of the Senate committee on ethics and privileges.
“As vice chair of the ethics committee, I can commit to them that we will act with dispatch…once we receive their complaint,” Lacson said.
Kabayan party-list Rep. Harry Roque has called on the Senate to remove De Lima from Congress, ostensibly to protect the integrity of the legislature. This came after Dayan’s daughter told the House that De Lima purportedly told her father to ignore a congressional summons to testify.
This prompted Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III to say on Thursday that it would be “premature” for the Lower House to demand Senate action, when it has not even done its part.
Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said the ethics committee would soon be convened to settle the jurisdiction question on two earlier complaints filed against De Lima over her alleged drug involvement during her time as Justice Secretary.
The committee is still deliberating on whether or not it should handle the complaints based on De Lima’s alleged actions before she became senator. Under the rules, the committee has jurisdiction only on alleged acts committed when an individual is already a member of Congress.
Also on Saturday, Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy asked colleagues to tone down their lewd comments in succeeding hearings. She said she became “uncomfortable with the line of questioning” prompting her to leave early on Thursday.
The hearing was meant to establish links between their personal relationship and how it was related to the proliferation of drugs at the national penitentiary, instead “it veered off-topic,” she said.
The lawmakers’ questions to Dayan ranged from De Lima’s favorite dish to the “intensity” and “climax” of their relationship.—TARRA QUISMUNDO AND JOVIC YEE
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