House files ethics complaint vs De Lima

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 12 2016 04:29 PM

Senator De Lima argues a point at the Senate hearing on Extra Judicial Killing (EJK), on Monday. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

House Justice Committee Chair Reynaldo Umali on Monday filed before the Senate an ethics complaint against Sen. Leila de Lima for her attempt to discourage her former driver and alleged bagman, Ronnie Dayan, from testifying at a congressional inquiry into the supposed Bilibid drug trade.

Majority Floor Leader Sen. Vicente “Tito” Sotto, as chair of the Senate ethics committee, received the complaint from Umali.

The complaint stemmed from Dayan's claim that De Lima urged him to go into hiding to avoid the House inquiry on the alleged narcotics trade inside the state penitentiary.

Umali said De Lima's "disrespect" of the House of Representatives led them to finally decide to file the case.

"Up to the last minute, we were hoping that Senator De Lima would accord the House of Representatives a little bit of courtesy," he said.

The lawmaker said they are leave it to the Senate to decide the senator's punishment.

De Lima, however, earlier said she was merely protecting herself from “persecution” when she advised Dayan against appearing at the probe.

The senator left the country on Sunday to receive an award in the US and to speak before the Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy in Berlin.

De Lima assured the public that she will return to the country after her official travel on December 22.