Senate ethics panel to push through with probe vs De Lima

MANILA — A senate panel on Monday said it will push through with the probe against Sen. Leila de Lima based on the complaints that she barred her former security aide and alleged drug money bagman Ronnie Dayan from appearing before the congressional probe into illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, chair of the Senate Committee on Ethics, said the committee will be consolidating the complaints filed by lawyer Abelardo De Jesus and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali.

These complaints stated that De Lima violated Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code by disobeying a summon issued by a co-equal chamber, the House of Representative, to attend the said congressional probe.

Sotto said that these complaints had “form and substance” because they happened when De Lima was already senator.

He said that De Lima will have 15 days to reply to the complaints upon her receipt.

Meanwhile, two other complaints filed against De Lima accusing her of culpability in the illegal drug trade when she was then Justice Secretary were dismissed.

These complaints were filed by De Jesus and overseas Filipino worker Ronillo Pumano based on the statements of Pres. Rodrigo Duterte.

The senator said that these complaints were dismissed because they took place before De Lima became Senator.

None of the members of committee opposed Sotto’s decision.

Members of the Senate Ethics Committee aside from Sotto include Senators Franklin Drilon, Francis “Chiz” Escudero, Gringo Honasan, Risa Hontiveros, Panfilo “Ping” Lacson, Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Grace Poe, and Ralph Recto.

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