Published: Tuesday 13 December, 2016

Criminal Charges Filed vs De Lima for Telling Dayan to Snub Subpoena

Senator Leila de Lima is facing a criminal complaint for snubbing a Congress summons and for telling Ronnie Dayan to snub his subpoena.

Leila de Lima criminal complaint

Senator Leila de Lima (PHOTO: Lyn Rillon/Inquirer.net)

Leaders of the House of representatives filed the criminal charges before the Department of Justice Tuesday morning. The De Lima criminal complaint stems from the senator’s snub of a summons from Congress to explain why she advised former lover and alleged bagman, Ronnie Dayan, to hide and disregard a subpoena issued by the House justice committee.

Led by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez, along with Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and House Committee on Justice chairman and Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali, Congress filed the complaint against De Lima for violation of Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code.

“As an incumbent Senator, former Secretary of Justice and a lawyer, advising and inducing Mr. Dayan to hide and not to attend and/or appear in the House inquiry for which he was duly summoned is tantamount to inducing disobedience to summons issued by Congress, of which she is a sitting member,” said the De Lima criminal complaint.

“This is a crime and Senator De Lima ought to know this, being a former secretary of Justice,” said Umali.

Hindi po kami rerespetuhin ng kahit sino kapag pinabayaan namin ito na wala kaming gagawin sa disrespect na ginagawa sa institusyon (We won’t be respected as an institution if we let this go),” the House Justice Committee chairman added.

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It was during the justice committee hearing when Ronnie Dayan admitted his romantic affair with De Lima, who was then Commission on Human Rights chief and then went on to be appointed as secretary of the Department of Justice during the Aquino administration.

In the same testimony, Dayan said he received millions in behalf of De Lima from alleged drug lord Kerwin Espinoza.

And when he received a subpoena to appear before Congress, Ronnie Dayan said he sought Leila de Lima’s advice through his daughter. Via a text message, which was shown during the hearing, De Lima urged Dayan to snub the subpoena and go into hiding.

According to Article 150 of the Revised Penal Code of the Philippines, a person who has been duly summoned to appear before Congress may be liable to fines or imprisonment. The same penalty shall be imposed on any person who induces or prevents another to obey a summons.

Art. 150. Disobedience to summons issued by the National Assembly, its committees or subcommittees, by the Constitutional Commissions, its committees, subcommittees or divisions. — The penalty of arresto mayor or a fine ranging from two hundred to one thousand pesos, or both such fine and imprisonment shall be imposed upon any person who, having been duly summoned to attend as a witness before the National Assembly, (Congress), its special or standing committees and subcommittees, the Constitutional Commissions and its committees, subcommittees, or divisions, or before any commission or committee chairman or member authorized to summon witnesses, refuses, without legal excuse, to obey such summons, or being present before any such legislative or constitutional body or official, refuses to be sworn or placed under affirmation or to answer any legal inquiry or to produce any books, papers, documents, or records in his possession, when required by them to do so in the exercise of their functions. The same penalty shall be imposed upon any person who shall restrain another from attending as a witness, or who shall induce disobedience to a summon or refusal to be sworn by any such body or official.

The De Lima criminal complaint comes after the House of Representatives also filed an ethics complaint against the senator at the Senate.

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