SHE tried to reprise the role of the late Whitney Houston in “The Bodyguard.”
Thus claimed the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) in a disbarment case filed against Sen. Leila de Lima before the Supreme Court on Friday, citing her alleged affair with a married man and supposed involvement in the illegal drug trade when she was Justice chief.
The VACC also called on the senator to resign.
De Lima, the anti-crime group claimed, “used her power and moral ascendancy to portray the role of Whitney Houston in the movie ‘The Bodyguard.’”
“Unfortunately, the closest that she can relate to Whitney Houston is the death of her legal profession through illegal drugs,” the complaint said in its opening salvo.
The 50-page complaint listed Dante Jimenez, former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) officials Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala, and Sandra Cam as representatives of the VACC.
Sought for comment, de Lima accused the VACC of running after her to gain the favor of her arch-nemesis, President Rodrigo Duterte.
In a text message, de Lima called Jimenez a “creepy clown with a horrible dark mask” who was “obsessed at being in the headlines,” and compared Esmeralda, Lasala and Cam with “monkeys” performing in a circus.
“This is all part of a circus. And just like in all circuses, clowns are part of the amusement,” de Lima said.
“For the part of Dante Jimenez, I could only shrug my shoulders in utter dismay at how he brings down with him the integrity and credibility of the anti-crime group he heads,” she added.
The VACC claimed de Lima had turned her back on the Lawyer’s Oath as well as the Code of Professional Responsibility of the legal profession.
The code states that “a lawyer shall not engage in unlawful, dishonest, immoral or deceitful conduct,” and that “a lawyer shall not engage in conduct that adversely reflects on his fitness to practice law, nor shall he whether in public or private life, behave in a scandalous manner to the discredit of the legal profession.”
Esmeralda said they have enough evidence to prove that de Lima had a sexual relationship with her former bodyguard-driver Ronnie Dayan, for whom she allegedly built a house in Pozorrubio, Pangasinan province.
Dayan, the complaint said, was married to Norlie Magallanes on April 30, 1991 based on a copy of their marriage certificate obtained from the Philippine Statistics Authority.
The complaint named inmates of the New Bilibid Prison as witnesses to the alleged relationship between de Lima and Dayan.
The VACC also presented as evidence a sex video with de Lima allegedly in it.
The group earlier filed a complaint against de Lima, former Justice officials and prison inmates for violations of the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act, calling the senator the “Mother of All Drug Lords” who “utilized her power and authority as then secretary of Justice to abet and even promote the proliferation of massive drug trade inside the Bilibid.”
De Lima on Friday said she dismissed Esmeralda and Lasala as deputy directors of the NBI when she was secretary of Justice during the previous Aquino administration, because of their “questionable practices.”
This is not the first disbarment case against the former Cabinet official. In 2011, a lawyer petitioned the Supreme Court to disbar de Lima for preventing former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo from leaving the country, in defiance of an order from the high tribunal.
That same year, another lawyer sought to disbar de Lima for calling then Chief Justice Renato Corona “a tyrant who holds himself above justice and accountability.”
The complaints, which compromised de Lima’s bid to be nominated to the Supreme Court, were tossed to the Integrated Bar of the Philippines for investigation.