De Lima gets 10 days to defeat disbarment
THE Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered Senator Leila de Lima to comment on a petition filed by a fellow lawyer seeking her disbarment following her admission that she had an affair with her married former driver Ronnie Dayan.
During its en banc session, the Court gave De Lima 10 days from receipt of notice to submit her comment on the complaint filed by lawyer Fernando Perito late last year.
Perito filed the disbarment complaint with the SC’s Office of the Bar Confidant accusing De Lima of gross immorality in violation of Code of Conduct of Lawyers because of her illicit relationship with Dayan.
Perito cited as evidence the public admission of the affair by De Lima in a TV interview in November 2016.
De Lima broke her silence and confirmed that she had a relationship with Dayan for “a few years” in an interview with GMA News TV’s “Bawal ang Pasaway kay Mareng Winnie” show.
Asked why she fell for Dayan, De Lima said it is due to the “frailties of a woman.”
“We became so close, that’s it, because I trusted him and of course I fell for him,” she said during the TV interview.
A similar disbarment complaint against De Lima was filed before the Court by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption and former National Bureau of Investigation deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala, who were also complainants in the drug trafficking and graft charges against her in the Department of Justice.
In 2012, Perito also filed a disbarment case against De Lima for her alleged defiance of a Supreme Court temporary restraining order issued in November 2011 when she stopped former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and her husband Jose Miguel Arroyo from leaving the country.
De Lima on Tuesday said if she gets killed or something untoward happens to her, President Rodrigo Duterte should be held responsible, after he made “veiled threats” on her life.
“I’m making him [Duterte] responsible, if something happens to me.... If something happens to me, he’s the one responsible, directly or indirectly because he has repeatedly demonized me,” said De Lima.
While talking about mayors who benefit from the illegal drug trade, Duterte challenged his listeners to “ask any policeman here” if he ever said “you have to kill De Lima.”
“I take it as a veiled threat. Why, all of a sudden, will he mention me [in relation to] the killings?” she said. With Macon Ramos-Araneta