Instead of issuing an arrest order against Senator Leila de Lima, the House of Representatives will just ask the Senate, through an ethics complaint, to discipline its own members, Senate Majority Leader Vicente “Tito” Sotto III said on Tuesday.
Sotto said the consensus was reached when leaders of the Senate and the House met Monday night.
“The meeting went well. We discussed possible Ledac (Legislative-Executive Development Advisory Council) issues to take up with the President, then, we agreed to avoid a possible confrontation between the two houses,” he said in a text message.
“We will respect any moves of their committees for show-cause order as long as it is not directed towards the Senate itself. It will be up to Senator De Lima if she will answer or not. Then we will take action on any complaints they will file in the Senate ethics committee,” the senator added.
Sotto is also chair of the Senate ethics committee, which has already received at least two complaints against De Lima.
The House earlier issued a show-cause order against De Lima for allegedly advising her former aide, Ronnie Dayan, not to attend its hearings on the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison when she was still Justice Secretary.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez even threatened to issue an arrest order against De Lima if she refuses to respond to the show-cause order.
But De Lima, who had repeatedly denied involvement in illegal drugs, stood pat against participating in the House probe, which she described as a “kangaroo court,” saying she would not honor the show-cause order.
Asked if the House would still pursue the arrest order against the lady senator, Sotto said, “They will avoid issuing an arrest order although they think they can (do) that, they will take a different process, and that is to ask us to discipline our own.”