MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima has asked the Supreme Court (SC) to act on her petition for writ of habeas data to put an end to the harassment and psychological violence committed against her.
The lady senator said despite his immunity to lawsuits, President Rodrigo Duterte is not immune from being sued in habeas data for "collecting and publicizing information about her private life."
"President Duterte is not immune from being sued in habeas data for collecting and publicizing information about her private life and alleged private affairs because his acts constitute slut-shaming, sexual harassment and psychological violence," she said in a statement.
De Lima filed a petition for writ of habeas data in the Supreme Court to stop Duterte and his allies from securing private details about her and using them against her.
She also cited several specific occasions where Duterte has repeatedly subjected her to crude personal verbal attacks based on "wrongful and unlawful collection."
For De Lima, Duterte's attack against her are "outside the realm of legitimate public concern," and are outside his mandate as the country's president.
"These wrongful acts are plainly outside of his power and authority as President of the Philippines, and that no reasonable person would differ from such conclusion," she said in her 14-page memorandum.
De Lima added that Duterte's presidential immunity is not automatically applied whenever he is subjected to judicial review.
"The interest in maintaining the dignity of women and protecting them from slut-shaming, sexual harassment, and psychological violence far outweighs the dangers of intrusion on the authority and function of the Executive Branch," she said.
The lady senator, likewise, asked to delete, destroy or rectify these "illegally obtained pieces of private information" against her. De Lima also asked to identify the foreign country that reportedly helped Duterte in acquiring this information.
De Lima's relationship with her former driver, Ronnie Dayan, was at the center on Thursday's House probe into the proliferation of illegal drugs at 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 boss.
Instead, several lawmakers feasted on Dayan’s affair with De Lima, which the driver said lasted seven years.
Prior to Dayan's admission about his relationship with De Lima, the senator had already come clean about it.