Ethics probe vs de Lima ‘confidential’ – Sotto

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THE Senate committee on ethics and privileges has deferred action on a complaint filed against Senator Leila de Lima by a taxpayer who wanted her expelled from the chamber.

Senator Vicente Sotto 3rd, chairman of the committee, said members of the panel were furnished copies of the complaint on Tuesday.

“We have decided to keep it confidential because it might be premature publicity. So therefore, in fairness to everyone, to all concerned, we’d rather keep it confidential,” Sotto said in an interview after the organizational meeting of the committee.

Sotto added that the panel agreed to call for a general counsel to assist them in studying the complaint.


Sotto refused to disclose details of the complaint but in an interview last week, the senator hinted that some of the issues raised by the complainant were based on the allegations of President Rodrigo Duterte, particularly on her alleged involvement in illegal drug operations and immorality.

Asked if the committee will proceed with the investigation if the allegations were based on the actions of de Lima when she was not a senator, Sotto said they will have to study the issue on jurisdiction.

“That is why it is not easy for us to just take over jurisdiction or to dismiss because of the underlying factors,” he explained.

In his two-page complaint, Abelardo de Jesus said de Lima “miserably” failed to uphold the attributes of a public officer as secretary of the Department of Justice and as a senator, which is tantamount to betrayal of public trust.

De Jesus based his complaint on the August 17, 2016 speech of the President during the 115th Police Service Anniversary in Camp Crame wherein he accused de Lima of “collecting money through her driver’ from the narco-inmates at the National Penitentiary to finance her Senate electoral campaign.

The complainant said there is no reason to doubt the veracity of the allegation, considering that it was made by no less than the President.

“Thus, I plead the Senate Ethics Committee to request the Office of the President for these evidentiary matters to warrant and justify the penalty sought to be imposed against Respondent,” de Jesus said in his complaint.
The complaint charged de Lima with betrayal of public trust, gross misconduct, serious misrepresentation and grievous negligence.

De Jesus said de Lima should be expelled from the Senate.

Harassment
De Lima dismissed the complaint as part of the harassment tactics against her.

“I have not seen yet any such complaint so I’d rather that I wait first for whatever action, initial or otherwise, that the ethics committee would be taking on that matter,” de Lima said.

“They’re trying to break my spirit but they will never succeed. That will not happen,” she added.
She expressed confidence that members of the ethics panel will study the matter thoroughly.
“I respect them as my colleagues. I know that they know what to do,” de Lima said.

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7 Comments

  1. Senators Gregorio Honasan, Panfilo Lacson and Risa Hontiveros attended the brief meeting Tuesday afternoon in Sotto’s office.
    ——————————————-

    Chairman Senator Vicente Sotto III

    Napoles then detailed 7 amounts totaling P225 million channeled through the NLDC from 2010 to 2012. “In all these transactions, the sole person I talked to was Jeniffer (sic) Corpuz.”

    “At one point, she asked me for a Hyundai Starex that she said will be given on the birthday of Senator Sotto’s wife.” Sotto is married to actress Helen Gamboa.

    She said in all transactions, Corpuz asked for 40% for Sotto, and 10% for herself.

    ————————————————————-

    Senator Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan II

    Agent: “Atty. Danny” (staff in Honasan’s office)

    Napoles wrote in Filipino: “I did not meet or talk to Sen. Gringo Honasan. Only Atty “Danny” got P3,750,000 for one project.”

    ———————————————————-

    Half the Senate Ethics Committee should be in jail for graft and plunder
    The Philippines can’t even form a 4 person Senate committee without pork barrel thieves

    The 2 Napoles pork barrel buddies owe De Lima for not charging them when she was heading of the Justice Dept so that should be interesting except the ethics committee wants to keep it private just in case someone says something that would be inconvenient.

    • I read that there will be 7 members on the Ethics committee
      Aside from Sotto, the other members of the committee are Senators Panfilo Lacson, Gregorio Honasan, Grace Poe, Risa Hontiveros, Francis Escudero, and Loren Legarda. Sotto said Senator Manny Pacquiao might replace Legarda
      ————————————————————-

      Senator Loren Legarda

      Agent: Catherine Mae “Maya” Santos

      Napoles said Santos acted as agent for Legarda’s project worth P24 million. “The other project was P50,000,000 and P5,000,000 implemented through NLDC.”

      Napoles said Santos got 50% of the project cost as rebate but she did not know how much Santos gave Legarda.

      “[It was Santos] I talked to because I do not know Senator Loren. She was the one offering, processing papers, and having the documents for the projects signed. In my estimate, she got almost P39,500,000 just for this project.”
      ——————————————–

  2. In my opinion , both the Upper House and the Lower House should conduct their probes through Live TV so that the Public may know what would really be happening in both Houses … otherwise, suspicion may arise that the Upper House would be hiding something to protect their colleague.

    If the good Senator is not guilty of the complaints against her , she should have the same courage to vehemently deny the allegations thrown to her as she did and would be doing in front of the Reporters . There is one problem though , if she would be telling a lie during the Probe , her body language and facial expression might betray her.

  3. After the ethics committee gets done wasting everyone’s time and money they should rather investigate their members like the chairman Sotto who is on the Napoles list as having taken kickbacks from giving millions from his pork barrel fund to Napoles.

    There is no question that Sotto’s pork barrel money went to Napoles so why hasn’t he been charged and jailed ?

  4. Leodegardo Pruna on

    De Lima at the count of DeSampu should skip the mess she has created for herself by resigning. She had been an attacking dog of P-Noy and now she is haunted by her very acts. The senate is being hurt by her continued stay.

  5. Victor Arches on

    After Senator Lacson revealed during a press interview that the Upper House has no jurisdiction over the actuations of a colleague prior to her assumption of office, it now appears that the Senate has changed its internal rules to expand such jurisdiction.., perhaps to save face in light of the Lower House’s own comprehensive investigation into the proliferation of illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison during DeLimaw’s term as DOJ Secretary.

    The Senate, however, is faced with a quandary:

    1. It has announced that its probe will be held behind closed doors, away from the prying eyes and ears of the public. On the other hand, the Lower House investigation will be open to the public, and televised nationwide.

    2. Witnesses and documentary evidences will be presented openly in the House, while the public will be kept guessing on what will be going on during the Senate’s “executive” sessions.

    3. Should the findings of the House differ from those of the Senate, whose version will be more credible to the public?

    Could this be a prelude to the demise of the Senate as an institution, preparatory to a unicameral form of government under a federal system?

    Interesting and exciting days ahead, indeed.

  6. I am not weak and I am innocent.
    Prove you’re strong face them all;
    GUILTY run away like a hunted dirty rat:
    INNOCENT roars like a fearless lion.
    If you run away the battle is completely lost but if you face them all the battle is 50% won. FEAR NOTHING AND FEAR NOBODY AT ALL BECAUSE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE; AND LIES WILL
    BURY YOUR ENEMIES.