MANILA (UPDATE) - The Senate ethics committee on Tuesday junked the complaints against detained Senator Leila De Lima.
Lawyer Abelardo de Jesus lodged an ethics complaint against De Lima in September 2016 after President Rodrigo Duterte accused her of involvement in the narcotics trade.
Three months later, House leaders filed another ethics complaint against the senator for advising her former bodyguard and boyfriend Ronnie Dayan against appearing before a congressional probe on the New Bilibid Prison's alleged drug ring.
Members of the Senate ethics committee unanimously voted to dismiss the cases without prejudice, saying these matters were pending before a court.
De Lima welcomed the ruling, saying it proves that the allegations against her were based on lies.
“I thank my colleagues for standing up for reason and the clear provision of the rules. It is now evident, as I’ve always maintained, that the cases filed against me were frivolous and were merely filed to harass me,” she said in a statement.
The detained senator also expressed hopes that the criminal charges filed against her over her supposed connection to the illegal drug trade in the national penitentiary will be dismissed as well.
“I hope that somehow I have proven my doubters and detractors wrong. From the very start, I have always kept my innocence and in due time, hopefully soon, I will be vindicated from all the fabricated charges, especially the drug cases, filed against me,” De Lima said.
The panel, however, may revive the ethics complaint if the Quezon City Regional Trial Court finds De Lima guilty of the allegations.
De Lima, a fierce critic of the administration's war on drugs, has rejected the accusations, saying these were politically-motivated.