MANILA – After a congressman urged the Senate on Thursday to cite Senator Leila de Lima in contempt for allegedly barring former aide and alleged drug money bagman Ronnie Dayan from testifying at the House of Representatives (HoR), Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimintel III reminded the House members to observe the rule of law.
“How come they (Congress) want the Senate to act as if there is a final determination of the actual facts? Let us not be too excited,” Pimentel told reporters in an interview.
“Let the House do what they have to do, observe due process, observe proper procedure, then give the Senate the official result of their findings,” he added.
Pimentel made this remark after House Majority Leader Ilocos Norte Rep. Rodolfo “Rudy” Fariñas said that Dayan’s claim that De Lima prevented him from testifying in the House could make her liable for contempt.
Another congressman, Kabayan Partylist Rep. Harry Roque, like Fariñas, also urged the Senate to cite her in contempt and urged De Lima to resign.
“The House has not even charged her with anything and has not even come out with a final order. Let’s wait and see what they’ll do and cross the bridge when we get there,” Pimentel said.
“We have our own rules. For a member of the House to tell the Senate to do something, do your thing first before you ask us to do something,” he added.
Pimentel, meanwhile, denied that the allegations against De Lima affected the integrity of the Senate.
“There are 24 senators. We have our own lives, we have our own actions. Some probably beat a red light but is it the fault of the Senate?,” he said.
He also expressed confidence that despite the allegations against his colleague and former lawyer, she would be able to defend herself.
Dayan, in a House inquiry into the culpability of De Lima in the illegal drug trade, claimed that his former boss indeed accepted money from suspected Visayan drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
De Lima, however, has repeatedly denied these allegations, saying that the witnesses were only forced to destroy her reputation. (PNA) SCS/ANP