Congress reaches impasse
Senate shelves House ‘show-cause’ order on De Lima
The Senate has placed in its “forget me” drawer the “showcause” order issued by the House of Representatives against Senator Leila de Lima, reliable sources told the Manila Bulletin.
The “show-cause” order gave De Lima 72 hours to explain why she should not be held in contempt for “exerting undue influence” on Ronnie Dayan, her former driver-bodyguard-lover to defy summons of the committee investigating the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
Sources said the archiving was made Tuesday, hours after the order was submitted to Senate Secretary Lutgardo Barbo by House Majority Leader Rodolfo Farinas and Rep. Reynaldo V. Umali, chairman of the House Committed on Justice.
The order was issued by the Justice committee after Dayan’s daughter, Hannah Mae Dayan showed to the committee last November 24 text messages of De Lima telling Dayan to hide and ignore the summons of the House Committee saying House members would only “feast on them” (Dayan and de Lima) when Dayan asked for advice through his daughter.
The committee in its order said De Lima’s “acts caused undue interference in the conduct of the House proceedings where Dayan’s attendance was required.”
The Umali committee summoned Dayan to the House hearing after inmates at the NBP tagged him as De Lima’s bagman who received millions for years in campaign funds for De Lima from the proceeds of the illegal drugs trade inside the NBP.
Consensus De Lima had questioned why the two House leaders had to file the “show cause” order with Barbo and not to her.
She also took Umali and Farinas to task for doing the chore instead of the official messengers of the Lower House.
Farinas and Umali were at the Senate building last Tuesday as members of the House bicameral conference committee that met their Senate counterparts to iron out their differing versions of the proposed 2017 national budget.
Manila Bulletin sources revealed the senators agreed among themselves to archive the House order.
Their position appeared to have been corroborated by the “failure” or “decision” of Barbo not to include the House request in the Senate’s order of business in last Tuesday afternoon’s plenary session.
The House committee earlier said should De Lima fail or refuse to comply with the order, it would be constrained to take appropriate action to cite her in contempt under Section 11 of the Rules of Procedure Governing Inquiries in Aid of Legislation of the House of Representatives. Asked on the effects of De Lima ignoring the show-cause order, Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin M. Drilon said “it has implications on the Senate as an institution.”
December 21 The Department of Justice (DOJ) gave De Lima 19 days to appear and respond to criminal complaints filed against her before the DOJ.
Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong yesterday said the former Justice secretary and her co-respondents have until December 21 to submit their respective counter-affidavits.
Apart from the counter-affidavits, Ong said De Lima and her co-respondents should personally appear before the DOJ to swear to the authenticity of their respective affidavits.
Ong presided yesterday over the first hearing of the preliminary investigation of the complaints filed against De Lima and her co-respondents.
Four separate drug complaints were filed before the DOJ by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC); former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala; high-profile Bilibid inmate Jaybee Sebastian; and the NBI.
Aside from De Lima, the other respondents named in the complaints included Sebastian; former DOJ Undersecretary Francisco Baraan III; former Bureau of Corrections (BuCor) Director Franklin Jesus Bucayu; former BuCor director Ricardo Reineir Cruz; De Lima’s former aide Joenel Sanchez; De Lima’s former lover and driver Ronnie Dayan, De Lima’s nephew Jose Adrian Dera; NBI Deputy Director Rafael Ragos; former NBP Superintendent Richard Schwarzcopf Jr.; NBI agent Jovencio Ablen Jr.; Bucayu’s alleged bagman Wilfredo Elli; Baraan’s former subordinate Jesusa Francisco; De Lima’s secretary Lyn Sagum; Baraan’s alleged bagman Julius Rejuso; and De Lima’s alleged bagman only known by the alias Georg.
Also named respondents are Bilibid inmates Herbert Colanggo, Engelbert Durano, Vicente Sy, Wu Tuan Yuan alias Peter Co, and Jojo Baligad.