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Senate ethics committee has jurisdiction House case vs De Lima – Sotto

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The Senate will take up the House of Representatives’ complaint against Sen. Leila de Lima before the ethics and privileges committee, its chair Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III on Sunday said.

“We definitely have jurisdiction. I don’t think any member of the ethics comm. Will say that we don’t have jurisdiction as far as the complaint of the House of Representatives is concerned,” he was quoted saying in a radio interview.

But the matter of whether to carry out a full-blown hearing on said complaint, which raised alleged “misconduct” shown by De Lima when she advised her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan to snub the lower house hearings on the alleged continuing illegal drugs trade inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), will still be subject to the approval of committee members, Sotto said.

“Yung (form and substance ng House complaint) maayos naman. Talagang yung content, intent (of the case) ang pag uusapan namin and whatever the committee will decide on. By next week I have a fairly good idea on what to do,” he said.

The other pending ethics case against De Lima filed by private individuals are likely to be dismissed as per Sotto’s explanations, their allegations which concerns acts or possible criminal offenses, were committed prior to her getting elected as a senator.

“House complaint, yun maliwanag na may juridiction kami (sa ethics committee) kasi senador na sya eh. Itong complaint na ito, kino complain nung senador na sya. Yung mga nauna kino complain actions when she was secretary of justice,” Sotto said.

The senator said he wants the disposition of the case done the soonest time possible to enable them to concentrate on their other legislative work.

“Ang timeline ko, (decide on it) as soon as possible para hindi nakakaabala rin sa trabaho. I’m sure this will be resolved soon. Baka by Feb. ma re resolve na yan, maigsi lang yan eh.

“Gusto namin maresolve kaagad, not only for De Lima but also to those who filed the complaint, to be fair to all,” he said.

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