Pimentel not keen on taking action vs De Lima

Adrian Ayalin, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 24 2016 06:19 PM

Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III and Senator Leila de Lima. Composite/File Photo

MANILA - Senate President Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III on Thursday refused to take action on complaints by members of the House of Representatives regarding inter-parliamentary courtesy after Senator Leila de Lima allegedly advised her former driver and bodyguard Ronnie Dayan not to honor the subpoena issued to him.

According to Pimentel, it is better for both the House and the Senate to finish its respective inquiries on the issue.

"For a member of the House to the Senate to do something, ibabalik ko muna sa House, do your own thing muna," said Pimentel.

(For a member of the House to the Senate to do something, I will return it to the House. Do your own thing first.)

He added that the House should first finish their investigation and inform them about their findings before asking the Senate to take action.

"Very premature, let us not be too excited," said Pimentel.

Pimentel said that the so-called inter-parliamentary courtesy does not exist in the Constitution nor in any law. He also said De Lima is his former election lawyer and she can very well defend herself in courts.

WITNESS PROTECTION FOR KERWIN

Meanwhile, Pimentel said he is inclined to recommend Kerwin Espinosa to the Witness Protection Program (WPP) of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

"Ang initial feeling okay, okay there are good grounds," he said.

He also noted that Espinosa's testimony on his illegal drugs distribution may be useful in the government's war on drugs.

Pimentel, however, cannot say if Espinosa, who testified before the Senate on Wednesday, is telling the whole truth.

He also noted that there are considerations before a person can be admitted to the WPP such as prior conviction by courts.

Espinosa was convicted in 2008 for illegal drugs charges but was freed in 2009 after his case was reversed by the Court of Appeals.