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De Lima counsel skeptical about ‘advising, inducing’ House witness

/ 05:26 PM January 05, 2018
Reynaldo Umali

Rep. Reynaldo Umali, chair of the House Committee on Justice. Noy Morcoso/Inquirer.net

Are the words “advise” and “induce” similar?

For House justice committee chairman Rep. Reynaldo Umali, the two words are the same and can be used interchangeably but for the camp of Senator Leila de Lima, there’s an “ocean of difference” between the two.

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Taking the witness stand in the disobedience case against De Lima, Umali maintained that the detained senator “advised” and “induced” her former aide Ronnie Dayan not to appear in the congressional hearings in 2016 during the cross examination with the senator’s counsel.

Umali, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, and House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas filed disobedience to summons case against De Lima, alleging that De Lima induced Dayan from appearing in the House hearings. Dayan later showed up in the congressional inquiry and testified on the drug-related accusations against his former boss.

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In the affidavit Dayan presented before the House panel, he said he sought De Lima’s advice after receiving the subpoena through his daughter, Hannah Mae Dayan.

“As a lawyer, you know there’s an ocean of difference between words advise and induce?” lawyer Teddy Rigoroso, De Lima’s counsel, asked Umali.

Umali answered: “In the matter of this case, I would like to think that these are interchangeable… It can be used interchangeably and it would depend on the context of how the word is being used.”

Rigoroso later asked, “So advising and inducing are similar?” To which Umali replied in the affirmative.

Umali also admitted that he did not have any personal knowledge on De Lima allegedly influencing Dayan to skip the hearings. Dayan went into hiding after the House issued a subpoena against him. Police later found and arrested him in La Union last November 2016.

The House lawmaker agreed when the counsel asked if he based the disobedience complaint on the transcripts of the hearing and copies of text messages Hannah Mae provided to the panel.

“I may not have that personal knowledge on what transpired between Dayan and De Lima or the daughter but my concern is on what happened with the case and that Dayan didn’t appear and there were a lot of insinuations and innuendoes so we have to take the words holistically,” he said. /jpv

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TAGS: De Lima, House, justice committee, Umali
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