House leaders to file charges against Senator de Lima at justice department
Leaders of the House of Representatives will file a criminal complaint against Senator Leila de Lima before the justice department Tuesday for disregarding their investigation into the illegal drug trade inside New Bilibid Prison.
Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, chairman of the House committee on justice, said they will file a complaint for violation of Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code (disobedience to summons) against De Lima for stopping her former driver Ronnie Dayan from testifying in the House probe.
Umali, along with Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and majority leader Rodolfo Fari?as, will file the complaint. They also filed an ethics complaint against De Lima in the Senate on Monday.
Senator Tito Sotto, chairman of the ethics committee, received the House complaint.
The cases stemmed from De Lima’s refusal to attend the House inquiry and her “advice” to Dayan not to attend the inquiry by the House justice panel.
The "advice" was conveyed in a text message to Dayan's daughter, who testified at the House hearing.
Several inmates who testified allege they gave cash to Dayan and De Lima, who was then justice secretary, as protection money. Dayan was called to testify, but did not immediately show appear due to De Lima’s advice.
After more than a month in hiding, Dayan was arrested last Nov. 22 based on a warrant issued by the House.
“As a former justice secretary, she should know the law, she should not have advised somebody who has already been subpoenaed (not to attend) in violation of the rules of Congress,” Umali said in an interview. DMS