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The House Committee on Justice formally asked the Senate to impose disciplinary action against Sen. Leila M. de Lima as they filed yesterday an ethics complaint against the lawmaker for telling her former aide to snub the House of Representatives’ inquiry into the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, House Majority Leader Rep. Rodolfo Fariñas, and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umalis, House Justice Committee chief, stood as the complainants in the ethics case.
De Lima is currently in Washington to receive an award and would also be in Berlin, Germany to speak at the annual conference on cultural diplomacy.
Senate Committee on Ethics and Privileges chairperson Senate Majority Leader Vicente C. Sotto III said he is open to having both the complainants and the respondent face each other during one of their hearings.
“That’s what we have to do. Hindi pwedeng magkatalikod silang nagbabatuhan, mas maganda kung harapan,” Sotto said in an interview.
Sotto assured that the committee would conduct its hearings fairly and will settle the issue in a public manner.
“I’ve said that before and I will say it again. I will always be impartial. If you cannot be impartial and you are the chairman of the ethics committee you better resign,” the senator said.
“Hindi maganda (kung pag-uusapan lang within sa committee). Pa-ngit. Oras na may dinala kang issue sa committee lalo na sa ethics, as a matter of fact even sa (Senate committee on) rules, si-nettle ng hindi sa committee, hindi magandang tingnan. Mas magandang i-settle na kita ng publiko, kita ng mga ibang senador. Mas maganda ’yung ganun,” he said. (Hannah L. Torregoza)