2 complaints vs De Lima junked
The Senate ethics committee dismissed on Monday two complaints against Sen. Leila de Lima for lack of jurisdiction.
But the committee members want the senator to answer two other complaints within 15 days after receipt of the resolution.
These two complaints, one filed by the House of Representatives, is in connection with De Lima’s move to stop her former bodyguard and boyfriend, Ronnie Dayan, from attending a House inquiry last year that was looking into her alleged involvement in protecting drug lords inside New Bilibid Prison.
The decision of the ethics committee was a swift one as its chair, Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, said he had already consulted his members beforehand.
During the meeting, the committee members first agreed to dismiss two complaints filed against De Lima questioning her morality and her alleged drug links for lack of jurisdiction, because the alleged offenses were committed when she was still justice secretary and not as senator.
These complaints were filed by lawyer Abelardo de Jesus and Ronillo Pulmano who based them on statements made by President Duterte.
It was a different case with the complaints filed by the House and also by De Jesus.
“We definitely have jurisdiction because [the offense] was committed when she was a senator,” Sotto said during the hearing attended by Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, and Senators Panfilo Lacson, Risa Hontiveros, Gregorio Honasan II and Manny Pacquiao.
Sotto told reporters that the offense was in violation of Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code or disobedience to summons.
He said the committee will consolidate the two complaints.
“There’s form and substance and jurisdiction on the complaints of the House of Representatives and the supplemental complaint of Atty. De Jesus,” Sotto said.
Sotto said the committee will determine next whether they will accept De Lima’s explanation or will call a full-blown hearing.
Open to media
Sotto said the committee will open the hearing to the media so as not to be accused of being biased.
Meanwhile, De Lima told reporters she will just wait for the notice from the ethics committee.
She said she had expected the dismissal of the two other complaints because the committee had no jurisdiction over them.