House leaders file criminal complaint vs De Lima for summons snub
A criminal complaint has been filed before the Department of Justice (DOJ) against Senator Leila de Lima by members of the House of Representatives led by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for ignoring the summons issued by Congress and for instructing her former driver/boyfriend Ronnie Dayan to do the same.
Joining Alvarez as complainant are House Majority Floor Leader Rodolfo Farinas and House Committee on Justice Chairman Reynaldo Umali.
De Lima is specifically facing a complaint for violation of Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code for disobedience to summons issued by the national assembly, its committee or subcommittees.
The Senator was invited to attend the Congressional inquiry on the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) on Sept. 20 and 21 and Oct. 5 and 6.
“Respondent opted to ignore all invitations and failed to attend any of the hearings conducted by the Committee,” the complaint stated.
“Worse, respondent even insulted the House of Representative by calling its Committee a kangaroo court/committee and its proceedings a sham.”
Like De Lima, a subpoena was also issued to Dayan but it was also ignored. Then, on Oct. 6, after failing to attend the hearing, a show cause order was issued ordering him to explain why he should not be cited for contempt.
Then, on Oct. 10, for issuing the order, he was ordered arrested by Congress.
After Dayan’s arrest, the Congressional inquiry was reopened last month. During the hearing, it was revealed that De Lima instructed Dayan not to appear in Congress. The Senator gave the instruction through a text message to Dayan’s daughter.
“As an incumbent Senator, former Secretary of Justice and a lawyer, advising and inducing Mr. Dayan to hide and not to attend in the House inquiry for which he was duly summoned is tantamount to inducing disobedience to summons issued by Congress of which she is a sitting member,” the complaint stated.
Violation of Article 150 has a penalty of arresto mayor or one month and 1 day up to six months of imprisonment or a fine ranging from P200 to P1,000 or both (fine and imprisonment).
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