MANILA (UPDATED) - House leaders filed a criminal complaint against Senator Leila de Lima for violation of Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code for disobedience to summons issued by the national assembly, a lawmaker said Tuesday.
The complaint stemmed from Ronnie 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.
De Lima's advice to Dayan was a form of disrespect to the subpoena issued by the House, House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas, and House Justice Committee Chair Reynaldo Umali said in their 4-page complaint.
"This is a crime and Senator De Lima ought to know this, being a former secretary of Justice," Umali said.
Also included in the complaint were the exchange of text messages between De Lima and Dayan's daughter, Hanna Mae, who the senator was in contact with while Dayan was in hiding.
Under the Revised Penal Code, "any person who, having been duly summoned to attend as a witness before the National Assembly, (Congress)... (who) refuses, without legal excuse, to obey such summons" may be slapped with fines ranging from P200 to P1,000 or imprisonment of up to six months.
Under the law, "the same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who shall restrain another from attending as a witness, or who shall induce disobedience to a summon or refusal to be sworn by any such body or official."
House leaders have also filed an ethics complaint against De Lima at the Senate.