Duterte won’t judge solons over 'slut-shaming' questions

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 25 2016 05:11 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte during a press conference at Melia Hotel in Lima, Peru on November 20, 2016. Rey Baniquet, Malacanang Photo

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday said he would not judge members of the House of Representatives who have drawn flak over some of the questions they threw at Ronnie Dayan, the former driver-lover of Senator Leila de Lima.

Dayan attended yesterday’s House probe into the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison during De Lima’s stint as justice secretary, but lawmakers ended up disappointed as the former aide denied ever knowing any of the inmates who accused him of receiving drug money for his ex-boss.

Instead, several lawmakers feasted on Dayan’s affair with De Lima, which the driver said lasted for 7 years.

Duterte opted not to speak his mind this time when asked whether the lawmakers were right in prying into the affair.

“Alam mo, I was once a congressman, 1998 to 2001. Sorry I cannot answer that because in deference to our inter-parliamentary [courtesy]. I cannot criticize them, I cannot praise them so I better keep silent,” Duterte said.

“Let the people of the Republic of the Philippines judge the event any way they want it. This is a free country.”

During his turn, House Deputy Speaker Fredenil Castro asked Dayan whether his love for De Lima was pure.

Castro also asked: "Ibig mo bang sabihin sa pagdinig na ito na ang iyong relasyon kay Sec. De Lima ay hindi lamang para saluhan siya na magtampisaw sa pagmamahalan kundi siya ay saluhan din sa pagpawi sa init ng katawan?"

To this question, Dayan just answered yes.

Parañaque City Rep. Gus Tambunting also asked questions about Dayan and De Lima’s alleged sex video. Dayan said he never took a video of him and De Lima having sex but he did not discount the possibility that someone else took one without his knowledge.

'SLUT-SHAMING'

Vice President Leni Robredo did not hide her disappointment over the questions.

She said some of the questions for Dayan were obviously irrelevant to the probe and may have only been thrown to “slut-shame” the lady senator.

“Kaming mga public officials, ang mga buhay namin ay open book naman. Tinitingnan ko ang mga questions na tinanong, parang totally unnecessary. Bastos na talaga ang iba,” Robredo told reporters.

Robredo said the questions thrown at Dayan were a form of sexual harassment on De Lima.

“Kung susundan natin ang mga tanong, wala siyang relevance sa investigation na kina-conduct. Parang ang nangyari talaga ay slut-shaming,” she said.

Robredo said, the lawmakers’ actions yesterday were uncalled for and set a bad example to the public.

“Ang aking paniniwala kasi, ang lawmakers, mas mataas ang expectations sa kanila kasi ano sila, tinitingala natin. They are supposed to represent us. So kapag hinahayaan natin na ganoon ang actuations ng mga tinitingala natin, parang binibigyan natin ng lisensya iyung ordinaryong mamamayan na ganon din ang gawin,” she said.

Senator Risa Hontiveros, a De Lima ally, also castigated the members of the lower chamber for their “public lynching in aid of misogyny and sexism.”

“The House of Representatives hit a lowest of the low as the House Committee on Justice reopened its probe into the narcotics trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during Senator Leila De Lima's stint as justice secretary. It was not an investigation in aid of legislation. It was a public lynching in aid of misogyny and sexism,” Hontiveros said.

 “The intention was clear. Members of the committee were grossly unparliamentary. Their derogatory line of questioning did not aim to shed light on the issue of the drug trade in our prisons. They were meant to humiliate and shame Senator De Lima for her association with a certain man, or her past relationship.”

Senator Grace Poe said she was also upset at yesterday’s proceedings.

“A lot of the questions were geared towards voyeurism--national voyeurism as opposed to 'in aid of legislation.' And this is quite upsetting,” she said.

“We understand that a lot of things have to be investigated but I think that the details of certain personal affairs should not have been discussed.”