THE Justice department will summon Senator Leila de Lima to appear before the preliminary investigation on the four complaints filed against her in connection with her alleged involvement in proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said Sunday De Lima could expect the subpoena this week, compelling her to attend the preliminary investigation on the four complaints.
“This coming week, the subpoena will be issued,” Aguirre said.
He said De Lima’s recent admission of an affair with her driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan would bolster the cases against her, since this validated her links with the alleged bagman, and could be used in disbarment cases against her.
Dayan is being hunted down by authorities for his alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade at NBP, particularly for collecting drug money intended for De Lima’s senatorial campaign.
Aguirre earlier said Dayan is hiding somewhere in northern Luzon and is being protected by politicians with alleged links to illegal drugs.
He denied reports that Dayan had already been arrested.
Meanwhile, Aguirre said they may tap relatives and employees of slain Albuera town Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. as witnesses in the government’s case against those involved in the illegal drugs trade.
Aguirre said Espinosa’s relatives and employees may be used to corroborate the claim of the slain local chief executive and his son, Kerwin Espinosa, about the illegal drug trade, particularly the officials allegedly involved in it.
In the event that Espinosa’s relatives and employees agree, they would be provided protection by the government to ensure their safety, Aguirre said.
Earlier, the younger Espinosa vowed to tell all about the narcotics trade, especially since his father was killed.
The elder Espinosa was killed by a police raiding team from the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group early this month inside his detention cell at the sub-provincial jail in Baybay City, Leyte.
Before he was killed, the elder Espinosa has executed an affidavit linking high-ranking government officials, police officers, members of the judiciary and the media in the illegal drugs trade.
One of those he linked to the illegal drugs trade was De Lima.
Also on Sunday, an official of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines said De Lima’s admission to having an affair with Dayan could bolster the disbarment case against her.
IBP Director Ramon Esguerra said a lawyer’s morality or immoral character comprises his life, not just his profession.
Esguerra also said the Supreme Court is the final arbiter in such cases though he explained it could direct the IBP to investigate complaints and make recommendations to the Court.
The disbarment case against De Lima for gross immorality was filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, jueteng whistleblower Sandra Cam and former National Bureau of Investigation deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala.
The complaint mentioned De Lima’s alleged illicit relationship with Dayan.
De Lima has three other pending disbarment cases. All the other cases were filed in 2012.
Because of the disbarment complaints, De Lima was excluded by the Judicial and Bar Council from the shortlist of nominees for the Chief Justice position in August 2012.
Aside from disbarment complaint, four drug-related cases were filed against De Lima before the Justice department.
In admitting her relationship with Dayan, who is married, De Lima said it was due to the “frailties of a woman.”
But she denied that she authorized him to collect money from drug lords inside the NBP. With PNA