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Roque slaps De Lima with 4th ethics suit

The problems faced by Sen. Leila de Lima just keep on piling up as House Deputy Minority Leader and Kabayan partylist Rep. Harry Roque Jr. yesterday filed an ethics complaint against the neophyte law-maker for allegedly conspiring to have him ousted from his seat in the lower chamber.
Roque in a complaint filed before the Senate ethics committee accused de Lima of conspiring with his partymate Rep. Ron Salo to hide their “involvement in the illicit drug activities in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) and to stop me from digging deeper into their criminal activities there.”
He said de Lima also deceived the public about her relationship and criminal conspiracy with Ronnie Dayan, her former security aide and alleged drug money bagman.According to him, what led him to file a complaint was a personal reason and that he did not consult with the Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez before filing the complaint.

His complaint before the Senate ethics panel committee is the fourth filed against De Lima.
“For me, the cause of action is really personal. The attempt to remove me from Congress is to keep me quiet and to punish me from my active participation in the investigation into the proliferation of the illegal drug trade in Muntinlupa,” Roque said.
Roque was among those who questioned Dayan during the House inquiry on the proliferation of drugs at the national penitentiary.
“When she didn’t say from the beginning that she and Ronnie Dayan had a domestic relationship, of course this was to hide the truth that Ronnie Dayan was her bagman,” he stressed.
The congressman also cited De Lima as being an “enabler and beneficiary of illicit drug trade at the NBP when she was the secretary of Justice.”
Last December 12, House leaders filed the third ethics complaint against De Lima for barring Dayan from appearing before the congressional probe into illegal drugs at the NBP.
The complaint was drafted by House justice panel chairman Reynaldo Umali, Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas and Alvarez.
Umali said the filing of the ethics complaint simply meant that De Lima has been “violating the law, violating the rules of Congress, and violating her oath as a public (official).”
‘Baseless and inane’
De Lima, however, belittled the latest complaint filed against her, saying that Roque is merely trying to be relevant at her expense.
“If he wants to be relevant and be in the news again, which is presumably why he is dragging my name into their intra-party dispute, don’t do it at my expense,” the senator stressed.
“My advice to him is to focus on working on meaningful legislation rather than politicking. He won’t find salvation by trying to score cheap brownie points from the President by attacking me,” she added.
De Lima said Roque is obviously mistaken in accusing her of supposedly conniving with his partymate on the move to oust him from his congressional seat.
“I have no interest in meddling with their internal party affairs. It would speak better of his worth as a public servant, as a member of the legal profession and as human being if he faces his problems and fights his own battles honorably, rather than joining the open season declared by the President against me,” she said.
De Lima vehemently denied having links with Salo, saying she’s not acquainted to him although she knows him based on what she reads about him in the news.
“I don’t recall any instance that I have ever worked or dealt with him. Second, I don’t know where Roque is coming from. I’m sorry to hear that he has been expelled from his party. Maybe if he served his party better rather than wasting his time on baseless and inane attacks against me, he wouldn’t have lost his constituents,” she said.  

Angie M. Rosales and PNA

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