MANILA - The House of Representative issued Tuesday a show cause order against Senator Leila de Lima for her failure to face the congressional inquiry on the narcotics trade in the national penitentiary.
House committee on justice chairman Reynaldo Umali said the order also stems from De Lima's move to discourage her former driver-bodyguard and alleged bagman, Ronnie Dayan, from appearing at the investigation.
De Lima has been given 72 hours to explain her side on the issue, Umali said.
The senator earlier confirmed that she had advised Dayan to snub the subpoena issued by lower chamber through a Viber message that was read by Dayan’s daughter during the House hearing.
De Lima told me to snub House probe - Dayan
De Lima, however, said she will not honor the show cause order as she was merely protecting herself from "persecution."
The show cause order has triggered a potential showdown between the two legislative chambers, with senators saying their counterparts at the lower chamber should respect the principle of inter-parliamentary courtesy, the tradition of both houses not to intrude into their own affairs.
De Lima’s colleague, Senator Panfilo Lacson, urged the lower house to file a complaint against De Lima before the Senate ethics committee instead.
But Umali clarified that the Senate is not blocking the order.
He said he met with several senators on Monday night, and both parties have agreed that if De Lima snubs the order, congressmen will file an ethics complaint against her before the Senate and a regional trial court.
-- Report from Robert Mano, DZMM