LEADERS of the House of Representatives formally filed on Monday an ethics complaint against Sen. Leila de Lima because of her supposed efforts to stop her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan from attending a House committee investigation of illegal drug operations in the country.
Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, chairman of the House justice committee, led the filing of the complaint along with House Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and House Speaker Panteleon Alvarez.
The complaint was filed before the Senate Committee on Ethics.
When he appeared at the House inquiry, Dayan told the lawmakers that De Lima had advised him not to appear in the hearings and instead go into hiding.
According to Umali, De Lima violated the rule of law, rule of congress and her oath as a public officer.
He cited Article 11 of the Constitution which states that public officers and employees must, at all times, “be accountable to the people, serve them with utmost responsibility, integrity, loyalty, and efficiency; act with patriotism and justice, and lead modest lives.”
“We will leave it to the sound judgment of the senators, the ethics committee and Senate at large,” he said in an interview before filing the compliant.
De Lima is facing two other ethics complaints filed by Abelardo De Jesus, and Ronillo Pulmano, an overseas Filipino Worker (OFW).
Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd, the chairman of the Senate committee on ethics, said the chamber will tackle the complaint when Congress resumes session in January.
Sotto said he and members of the panel will study the complaint. After the review, he will come up with a recommendation on whether to call a hearing or dismiss the complaint.
Don’t be a fugitive
Meanwhile, Sen. Panfilo Lacson on Monday admitted advising De Lima not to go into hiding like what he did in 2010 after he was tagged as the alleged mastermind in the killing of Public Relations man Bubby Dacer and his driver Emmanuel Corbito.
Lacson said he talked with De Lima before she left for an official mission abroad on Sunday.
“In jest sabi ko sa kanya, bumalik ka, huwag mo ako gayahin. Sabi niya babalik talaga ako at harapin daw niya
ang kaso, (I told her in jest to come back, don’t be like me. She told me that she will return to face the cases),” Lacson told reporters.
De Lima, who is accused of accepting protection money from convicted drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) when she was Justice secretary, left Sunday for an awarding ceremony in the United States and a speaking engagement in Germany. She is scheduled to return to the country on December 22.
Lacson said he sees nothing wrong with the De Lima’s travel despite the charges filed against her at the Department of Justice (DOJ) because there was no hold departure order issued against her.