Alvarez: OK to show De Lima's alleged sex tape in House probe

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said on Wednesday, September 28, that he has no problem with showing the alleged sex video of Senator Leila de Lima at the next House probe into the proliferation of drugs at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Alvarez said on Wednesday, September 28, that doing so would prove or disprove De Lima's alleged affair with her former bodyguard and driver Ronnie Dayan.

During the ongoing House probe on the NBP, former Bureau of Corrections official Rafael Ragos and NBI officer Jovencio Ablen Jr claimed they brought millions of drug money to De Lima's residence, with Dayan serving as her bagman.

"Well, para sa akin ano, wala naman sigurong diperensiya para malaman ng tao kung talagang totoo 'yan o hindi. [Ipakita] kung kinakailangan dahil para 'yun ang mag-uugnay kung merong personal relationship [silang dalawa]," said Alvarez. 

(Well for me, it's okay so that people will know if it's really true or not. Let's show it if needed as it would be the link as to whether the two have a personal relationship.)

When asked, Alvarez said showing De Lima's supposed sex video to the public cannot be treated as a form of slut-shaming of the senator.

"No, of course not. Well, she's denying that she is the one involved in that sex video so kung mag-de-deny ka, humarap ka dito at sabihin mo na, ''Di ako 'yan,' 'di ba? (so if you’ll deny, face us here and say, 'That's not me,' right?)" said Alvarez.

"Ngayon, kung ayaw mo mag-deny [during the hearing], let the people judge kung talagang 'di siya talaga 'yun [na nasa video]. I think fair lang naman 'yun," he added. 

(Now, if you do not want to deny it during the hearing, let the people judge if that’s really not her in the video. I think that's just fair.)

De Lima has refused to appear before the investigation of the House committee on justice, branding it as a "sham inquiry" designed to discredit her upon the orders of President Rodrigo Duterte. 

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II earlier said he could present 3 alleged sex tapes of De Lima if she would deny her romantic relationship with Dayan in a trial.

De Lima had reminded Aguirre that playing such videos at the congressional inquiry or before a court, if indeed they do exist, is against the law. (READ: De Lima: Aguirre's evidence vs me 'fake' like his wig

No less than Duterte himself first divulged to the public the alleged private video of De Lima in August. The President has repeatedly mentioned this in his impromptu speeches, sometimes without naming De Lima but referring to her as an "X-rated actress." The senator is one of the fiercest critics of Duterte.  

Duterte had said on Monday that he could show in public De Lima's video with a guy and may one day question her on who he is – Dayan or NBP inmate Jaybee Sebastian, who allegedly helped De Lima fund her 2016 senatorial campaign through collected drug money from within the prison. (READ: Duterte: De Lima will surely go to jail)

Minority says no

Three lawmakers in the minority bloc – Minority Leader Danilo Suarez, Senior Deputy Minority Leader Lito Atienza, and AKO Bicol Representative Alfredo Garbin – said there is no need to publicize De Lima's alleged sex tape. 

"Siguro naman di na dapat ipakita ‘yung video (Perhaps there's no need to show the video). I will ask Secretary Aguirre to think twice," Suarez said in a press conference on Wednesday. 

Atienza added: "I think we all share the same conviction – hindi na dapat ipakita ‘yan (let's not publicize it)."

Garbin said the video should not even be shown during a closed-door executive session at the House of Representatives. 

"Matters to be taken in an executive session are those affecting the national interest. Definitely, that’s not the one that affects national interest or national security. Sabi nga natin, di na dapat ipakita (Like they said, let's now show it)," said Garbin.  – Rappler.com

Mara Cepeda

Mara Cepeda writes about politics and women’s rights for Rappler. She covers the House of Representatives and the Office of the Vice President. Got tips? Send her an email at mara.cepeda@rappler.com or shoot her a tweet @maracepeda.

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