Ethics complaints’ dismissal proves accusers wrong – De Lima

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima today welcomed the decision by the Senate Committee on Ethics to dismiss the three complaints lodged against her for lack of jurisdiction.

De Lima, who will soon mark her first year of illegal arrest and unjust detention on Feb. 24, lauded her Senate colleagues for allowing a “high sense of fairness and objectivity” to finally triumph in handling the preposterous ethics complaints filed against her.

“I thank my colleagues for standing up for reason and the clear provision of the rules. It is now evident, as I’ve always maintained, that the cases filed against me were frivolous and were merely filed to harass me,” she said.

“I hope that somehow I have proven my doubters and detractors wrong. From the very start, I have always kept my innocence and in due time, hopefully soon, I will be vindicated from all the fabricated charges, especially the drug cases, filed against me,” she added.

Headed by Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III, the Senate Committee on Ethics unanimously approved to dismiss the ethics complaints against De Lima, citing lack of jurisdiction.

Based on news reports, Sen. Panfilo Lacson backed the dismissal, saying De Lima “did not violate any Senate rule” while Sen. Gregorio Honasan seconded the decision “in the spirit of humanity.”

The Senator from Bicol maintained the three complaints against her were “politically-motivated, unsubstantiated and filed in bad faith,” as these were filed by known Duterte allies.

It may be recalled that lawyer Abelardo de Jesus filed an ethics complaint against De Lima sometime in September 2016 based on unsubstantiated allegations made by the President that she was involved in the illegal drug trade.

House leaders also filed another ethics complaint against De Lima in December 2016 for purportedly advising her former security aide/driver not to attend the House inquiry on the Bilibid drug trade, while former Kabayan Partylist Rep. and now Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque accused the Senator of conspiring with Kabayan Rep. Ron Salo to hide their purported involvement in the narcotics trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

“Malinaw naman na ang lahat ng akusasyon laban sa akin ay batay lamang sa kasinungalingan at paghihiganti ng rehimeng Duterte dahil sa pagtuligsa ko sa kanilang madugong kampanya laban sa ilegal na droga,” she said.

The dismissal of the ethics complaints against De Lima came on the heels of the Ombudsman’s decision dismissing the graft and terrorism complaint against her that originated from an unfounded allegation that she aided in freeing suspected Abu Sayyaf terrorists.

“With truth on my side, I know that I will be vindicated in time. Sa paglipas ng mga araw, lalong lumilinaw na inosente ako, biktima ng matinding panggigipit. Sa huli, tiwala akong malilinis ang aking pangalan mula sa lahat ng imbentong paratang sa akin ng rehimeng ito,” she said.

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