Senate ethics panel junks complaint vs De Lima

February 20, 2018 - 11:26 AM
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Sen. Leila M. de Lima is escorted by members of the PNP in Nov. 16, 2017 hearing at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court-Branch 204. FILE PHOTO FROM SEN. DE LIMA'S OFFICE

MANILA, Philippines — The Senate Committee on Ethics chaired by Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III on Tuesday, Feb. 20, dismissed the complaints filed against Sen. Leila de Lima due to lack of jurisdiction.

Two complaints were filed last year against the detained lawmaker — one by Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and other members of the House of Representatives and the other by lawyer Abelardo de Jesus.

Both complaints accused De Lima of allegedly instructing her former driver-aide Ronnie Dayan to snub the October 6, 2016 House investigation into the illegal trade at the National Bilibid Prisons, based on the text exchanges between the senator the Dayan’s daughter, Hannah May.

Sotto’s panel approved Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon’s motion to dismiss the complaints against De Lima without prejudice to refiling the same in the future.

“She did not violate the Senate rules and it is not related to De Lima’s official function. We moved for the dismissal of the case without prejudice to reviving the case in the future,” Drilon said.

Among those who backed Drilon’s motion were senators Panfilo “Ping” Lacson and Gregorio “Gringo” Honasan.