Senator Leila De Lima's critics on Monday used her public admission that she had a romantic affair with Ronnie Dayan, her former driver and bodyguard, to boost the disbarment complaint against her before the Supreme Court.

Describing it as "frailties of a woman," De Lima owned up to the relationship, which was first disclosed by President Rodrigo Duterte, in a television interview aired on November 14.
Dayan confirmed this, disclosing details of their seven-year relationship during a hearing by the House of Representatives justice committee on the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison last week.

"The admission of Senator De Lima about her illicit and scandalous relationship in public is definitely not a frailty of a woman who is a member of the Bar!" the supplemental complaint, filed by the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), stated.
"Her public admission warrants her immediate suspension from the legal profession until this disbarment case is resolved," it added.

The supplemental complaint also cited De Lima's message telling Dayan's daughter, Hannah Mae, that he should snub the subpoena issued by the House panel.

"Senator De Lima's act of blatantly urging Dayan to snub the committee hearings, and instead hide in the meantime suggests her disregard of the rule of law. What she initiated was obstruction of justice not to mention that it was a disrespect of a co-equal institution," said VACC chairman Dante Jimenez.

"She was making a mockery of our justice system which is ironic considering her previous post as justice secretary."

Filed with the Office of the Bar Confidant, the complaint accuses De Lima of gross immorality because she entered into a relationship with Dayan, who admitted to picking up campaign money on her behalf from self-confessed drug distributor Kerwin Espinosa.

De Lima shrugged off the move to disbar her, saying it was "all part of a circus" being run by the Duterte administration.

She called the complainants--former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala, and jueteng whistleblower Sandra Cam and Jimenez--as "clowns."

The senator also said Dayan was already separated from his wife before their romantic affair started.  



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