The Department of Justice (DOJ) has supported a move of the House of Representatives to issue a show-cause order against Sen. Leila de Lima in connection with her alleged links to the illegal drug trade that the chamber has been probing.
According to Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd, they support the House Committee on Justice requiring de Lima to justify why she should not be cited in contempt.
De Lima had ignored a summons for her to show up at the inquiry and tell the committee why she instructed her former driver-lover Ronnie Dayan to hide and ignore the investigation.
Text messages were shown to the panel by Dayan’s daughter showing the senator’s instructions.
Aguirre said there is no need to involve the Senate in the issue to avoid a clash with the House of
The DOJ chief added that the issue must zero in on the alleged irregularities committed by de Lima.
“That [show-cause order] should be done because [the act of preventing Dayan from testifying]was done by de Lima in her private capacity. And so the House could cite her in contempt not as a member of the Senate but as a private person interfering with the proceedings of the House,” Aguirre said.
The senator claimed that her instructions to Dayan were just an advice.
“Well, that’s her defense. It’s good that she raises her defense and stops accusing me and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez this time of concocting lies against her,” Aguirre said.
Meanwhile, Aguirre said self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa and Dayan have not yet been admitted to the DOJ’s Witness Protection Program.
According to him,Espinosa and Dayan have to spill more beans and must not hide anything if they want to be admitted to the program.