SENATOR Panfilo Lacson admitted Wednesday that he is likely to back the dismissal of the ethics complaint filed against Senator Leila de Lima not only because of the issue on jurisdiction but because he pities his colleague.
Lacson made the statement as the ethics committee chaired by Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd received a second complaint against De Lima. Sotto however declined to provide reporters a copy because De Lima has yet to receive her own.
Lacson said the complaint filed by Abelardo De Jesus has jurisdiction issues thus he will likely vote for its dismissal.
De Jesus based his complaint on the August 17, 2016 speech of President Rodrigo Duterte where he accused De Lima of “collecting money through her driver” from inmates at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) to finance her Senate run.
“Based on what I read, I’m inclined to go along with those who will move for the dismissal,” Lacson said.
As for the second complaint, the senator admitted that he has yet to read it but based on the information he got from Sotto, it may also be questioned because the complainant cited an incident that happened in 2015 when De Lima was not yet a senator.
Lacson said he pities De Lima who is being bombarded with serious allegations and criticisms.
He said he sympathizes with De Lima even if she accused him of doublespeak for saying that the testimonies of witnesses presented before the House justice committee are credible enough to merit the filing of a case against the former Justice secretary.
Apart from Lacson, other members of the ethics committee are Senators Francis Escudero, Gregorio Honasan 2nd, Grace Poe, Risa Hontiveros, Manny Pacquiao, Franklin Drilon, and Ralph Recto.
De Lima was not able to attend the Senate session Wednesday because apart from not feeling well, she was forced to look for a new home after the House committee on justice allowed a resource person to publicly disclose her mobile phone number and her residential address.
According to a source, the senator is looking for a new place to stay for security concerns.
“There’s no threat to her life yet but for security reasons, she has to change her address,” the source noted.
He added that De Lima may also have to change he phone number because she was bombarded with calls and hate messages.
Sen. Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th said it was unfortunate that De Lima’s number and address was revealed in the public.
“We’d like to hope that in the halls of Congress and the Senate, parliamentary courtesy will still be observed and the right to privacy protected,” he said.
Meanwhile, confessed killer Edgar Matobato will be attending the Senate committee on justice and human rights hearing on extra-judicial killings Thursday even after senators questioned his credibility.
Sotto said Matobato has to attend the hearing because of the resolution filed by Sen. Antonio Trillanes 4th asking the committee to look into the summary executions allegedly committed by the Davao Death Squad (DDS).
Matobato has accused Duterte of ordering the killing of at least 1,000 individuals from 1988 to 2013.