MANILA - House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas on Monday called out Senator Leila de Lima for being the first to “show disrespect” to the House by discouraging her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan from facing the House Justice committee.
Dayan earlier told the House panel that De Lima discouraged him from attending its inquiry into the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison.
This prompted the committee to issue a show cause order on De Lima, triggering a showdown between the two legislative chambers.
Fariñas said the lower chamber is mulling an ethics complaint against De Lima, a criminal case at the regional trial court level for obstruction of justice, and an administrative complaint at the Supreme Court which could lead to disbarment.
Several senators have criticized the House of Representatives for issuing the show cause order, saying this violates the Constitution and the principle of inter-parliamentary courtesy.
Fariñas, however, said De Lima violated this very principle when she prevented Dayan from appearing before the House panel.
He also lashed back at the Senate for its attitude towards the House with regard to De Lima’s case.
"Akala mo mga supervisor namin sila eh di naman namin supervisor,” he said.
“Yung mga senador na ‘yan eh then they are saying: 'dapat ganito, dapat ganyan.' Why will they teach us how to conduct our business? We’re not teaching them how to conduct their business.”
Fariñas said the House is sticking to due process so they are asking De Lima to respond to the show cause order first.
"Tingnan niyo naman po ang courtesy namin. Hindi naman po agad kinontempt siya that’s why we adopted a motion, show cause order, ordering Senator De Lima why she should not be cited in contempt because there is evidence before us, testimony before us, she prevented a witness from appearing,” he said.
Farinas said the Senate can always raise this matter before the Supreme Court.
He, however, maintained this is not a war between the two chambers of Congress.
"Bakit maauwi sa full war? Wala naman bangayan yung 2 chamber. Ito isang myembro ng Senado winalanghiya yung proseso sa House by advising Dayan not to attend the inquiry.The least she could have done was huwag na kumibo,” he said.