SC orders De Lima to answer disbarment complaint

Rappler.com
The Supreme Court gives Senator Leila de Lima 10 days to answer the disbarment complaint filed by petitioner Fernando Perito

DISBARMENT COMPLAINT. Senator Leila de Lima has 10 days to answer the disbarment complaint against her. File photo by Cesar Tomambo/PRIB

MANILA, Philippines – The Supreme Court (SC) has ordered Senator Leila de Lima to respond to the disbarment case filed against her.

In its en banc session on Tuesday, January 10, the SC directed De Lima to submit her comment to the complaint-affidavit for disbarment filed by lawyer Fernando Perito.

The senator has 10 days from notice of the court resolution to submit her comment.

In recent years, De Lima has had disbarment complaints filed against her. The most recent one, filed in October 2016, was related to her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison and her relationship with driver Ronnie Dayan.

The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption, former officials of the National Bureau of Investigation, and whistleblower Sandra Cam accused the senator of gross immorality and of violating the Lawyer’s Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility. (READ: Admission of ‘immoral’ affair strong proof to disbar De Lima – Aguirre)

Other disbarment complaints were filed separately by petitioners Perito, Ricardo Rivera, and Nephtali Aliposa.

The complaints were related to De Lima’s alleged defiance of a temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the SC in November 2011.

De Lima, then the justice secretary, barred former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and former first gentleman Mike Arroyo from leaving the country – defying the TRO which prohibits De Lima from implementing a travel ban against the Arroyos.

The Arroyos had been under preliminary investigation for their alleged involvement in the reported cheating in the 2007 senatorial polls. – Rappler.com