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SENATE, HOUSE CLASH LOOMING OVER WHAT TO DO WITH DE LIMA[RELATED: Dayan’s wife more of the victim here; most humiliated, most hurt – Sotto]


NOVEMBER 26 -Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and other senators slammed their House colleagues’ running roughshod over inter-parliamentary courtesy in pressing to unseat De Lima for allegedly preventing her former lover and driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan from appearing at the inquiry. Senate PRIB/Joseph Vidal
The Senate and the House of Representatives are at loggerheads over what to do with Sen. Leila de Lima, whom congressmen want sanctioned for allegedly obstructing a congressional investigation into the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and other senators slammed their House colleagues’ running roughshod over inter-parliamentary courtesy in pressing to unseat De Lima for allegedly preventing her former lover and driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan from appearing at the inquiry. The House committee on justice cited Dayan in contempt and ordered his arrest last October after his failure to appear in its hearings to testify on De Lima’s alleged links to drug lords. With a P1-million reward on his head, Dayan was arrested in La Union earlier this week by the police and was made to appear before a House committee on Thursday. READ MORE...RELATED, Dayan’s wife more of the victim; most humiliated, most hurt – Sotto...

ALSO: House Speaker won’t let go of Leila, presses contempt charge
[RELATED: ‘House shouldn’t apologize for scrutinizing De Lima-Dayan affair’]
(There have been many criticizing us, but if you look at them, these are people who just want to protect their affiliations. These are the people who insist that they are the only credible ones. Look at these critics, they are politically affiliated and motivated individuals -A lawmaker said)


NOVEMBER 26 -House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Friday defended the House order compelling Sen. Leila de Lima to explain why she discouraged her driver and ex-lover, Ronnie Dayan, from attending the hearings linking her to the illegal drug trade. Contrary to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III’s reminder that the House should exercise “interparliamentary courtesy,” Alvarez said it was De Lima who “interfered” in the affairs of the House. Alvarez said he agreed with House committee on justice chair Rep. Reynaldo Umali’s move to issue the show-cause order that threatened to cite her in contempt if she refused to comply. “Well, she has to appear in the House of Representatives and show cause why she should not be cited for contempt,” he said. Dayan was arrested on the basis of a contempt citation, after he failed to heed a show-cause order directing him to explain his absence from the House’s hearings despite being subpoenaed. READ MORE...RELATED,
‘House shouldn’t apologize for scrutinizing De Lima-Dayan affair’...

ALSO: EDITORIAL - ‘Wagas’
[RELATED: Robredo on new rumors: ‘Funny’ Vice president dismisses rumors of her involvement in illegal drugs and financing of the anti-Marcos protest]


NOVEMBER 26 -Senator Leila de Lima may cry persecution and attempt to play the gender card again, but recent developments just remind us of her hypocrisy in portraying herself a paragon of justice and righteousness. She admitted engaging in a years-long affair with a man whom she knew to be married and who later on said they actually lived together in one house. Worse, phone records show she advised this same man, through his daughter, to go into hiding so he could avoid testifying before the House of Representatives. This is not hearsay; her mobile number is easily reflected in the messages.The courts and, eventually, history will judge De Lima. We hope the judgment would be swift and fair. What stays with us, however, are our lawmakers’ speech and demeanor during the hearing. READ MORE...RELATED, Robredo on new rumors: ‘Funny’ Vice president dismisses rumors of her involvement in illegal drugs and financing of the anti-Marcos protest...

ALSO: There are some leads - Ombudsman probes De Lima
[RELATED,
Govt witness program accepts Dayan, Espinosa]


NOVEMBER 26 -Senator Leila de Lima. NOY MORCOSO III/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO
Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered a fact-finding investigation into the alleged involvement of Senator Leila de Lima in the illegal drugs trade. “There have been some leads. We’re giving it due course by conducting fact-finding,” she disclosed to reporters on Friday night, at the sidelines of the University of the Philippine College of Law alumni homecoming. The antigraft body took cognizance of the October complaint by Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, head of Albuera, Leyte, police, who accused De Lima of receiving payoffs from confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa. READ MORE...RELATED, Govt witness program accepts Dayan, Espinosa...

ALSO TORONTO STAR HEADLINE: Nude students, activists protest dictator Marcos’s burial in Philippines


NOVEMBER 25 -Students belonging to a fraternity at the University of the Philippines, the country's premier state university, display placards as they run naked around the campus on Friday to condemn last week's burial of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. (BULLIT MARQUEZ/AP)
Naked fraternity recruits were protesting with placards that read, “Marcos dictator not a hero” at the state-run University of the Philippines. MANILA, PHILIPPINES—Thousands of Filipinos, including more than a dozen nude students, protested Friday against the hasty burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a heroes’ cemetery, in a growing political storm that’s lashing the president who allowed the entombment. A few thousand activists joined a “Black Friday” protest despite rainy weather at Manila’s seaside Rizal Park, where they carried Marcos’s effigy in a mock coffin. While the anger was directed at Marcos and his family, President Rodrigo Duterte was also targeted for allowing the burial of the dictator, who was ousted in a largely peaceful “people power” revolt three decades ago.


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Senate, House clash looms over De Lima


Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and other senators slammed their House colleagues’ running roughshod over inter-parliamentary courtesy in pressing to unseat De Lima for allegedly preventing her former lover and driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan from appearing at the inquiry. Senate PRIB/Joseph Vidal

MANILA, NOVEMBER 28, 2016 (PHILSTAR)  By Paolo Romero November 26, 2016 - The Senate and the House of Representatives are at loggerheads over what to do with Sen. Leila de Lima, whom congressmen want sanctioned for allegedly obstructing a congressional investigation into the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III and other senators slammed their House colleagues’ running roughshod over inter-parliamentary courtesy in pressing to unseat De Lima for allegedly preventing her former lover and driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan from appearing at the inquiry.

The House committee on justice cited Dayan in contempt and ordered his arrest last October after his failure to appear in its hearings to testify on De Lima’s alleged links to drug lords.

With a P1-million reward on his head, Dayan was arrested in La Union earlier this week by the police and was made to appear before a House committee on Thursday.

READ MORE...

Pimentel described the calls from congressmen to cite De Lima in contempt and remove her as “premature,” adding the House cannot dictate on the Senate.

“I’ll always stress that no one is above the law,” Pimentel said.

But he added, “How come they want the Senate to act as if there is a final determination of the actual facts? Let us not be too excited. Let the House do what they have to do, observe due process, observe proper procedure, then give the Senate the official result of their findings.”

“The House has not even charged her with anything and has not even come out with a final order. Let’s wait and see what they’ll do and cross the bridge when we get there,” he said.

“We have our own rules. For a member of the House to tell the Senate to do something, do your thing first before you ask us to do something,” he added.

Pimentel said he believed De Lima’s case has not affected the entire Senate.

“There are 24 senators. We have our own lives. We have our own actions. Some probably beat a red light, but is it the fault of the Senate?”

GORDON AND LACSON

Sens. Richard Gordon and Panfilo Lacson, in separate interviews, said instead of making noises in public about sanctioning or having De Lima removed, the House justice committee should instead file an ethics complaint before the Senate.

“I have a sound advice to the House leadership. In order to avoid a confrontation between the two houses of Congress, it may be more prudent for them to file an ethics complaint against Senator De Lima with the Senate ethics committee and I can commit to them, as vice chairman of that committee, that we will act with dispatch and decisively,” Lacson said.

Gordon said due process must be observed even if congressmen were angry that De Lima had encouraged their witness to go into hiding.

“You don’t just make demands and breach due process,” Gordon said in a telephone interview.

He said De Lima’s alleged obstruction of justice or investigation must still be established.

Gordon and Lacson, however, declined to comment on calls for De Lima to go on leave, saying the matter is best left to her discretion.

Blanket denials

For Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III, De Lima should answer the allegations raised against her instead of just issuing blanket denials.

Sotto clarified that he was not making any judgments but stressed the allegations against her might find their way to the Senate committee on ethics, which he heads.

He recalled being linked to illegal drugs himself in 1997 and that he submitted himself to an investigation to clear his name.

After three or four hearings, Sotto recalled that the head of the probe body then came out with findings clearing him of any wrongdoing.

Because of his own experience, Sotto said De Lima would be better off facing her detractors and defending herself in public.

“For me, if you are innocent, face them. Let them come out with all the evidence and present your own evidence because you are sure they won’t be able to prove anything,” Sotto said in Filipino.

“You cannot just keep on issuing denials. Present evidence because your critics have also presented their evidence against you,” he added.

Sotto declined to comment on the move of the House committee on justice to issue a show cause order against De Lima as to why she should not be cited for contempt for allegedly telling Dayan not to attend the hearings.

Sotto said he expects the order to go directly to De Lima and that it would be up to her whether to respond to it or not.

However, he said that ignoring such order could have serious repercussions, like being cited for “parliamentary discourtesy.”

As far as the ethics committee is concerned, Sotto said that a formal complaint against De Lima would have to be filed before it can initiate any action against her if necessary.

According to Sotto, an adverse finding by his committee could result in either a reprimand or expulsion of a senator.

However, he said this would require the vote of two-thirds of all the members of the Senate in order to be carried out.

ETHICS COMMITTEE

Two complaints have been filed against De Lima before the ethics committee but no action has yet been taken.

Sotto said the jurisdiction of the committee on the issue is being debated since the wrongdoing listed in the two complaints refers to her actions when she was still secretary of justice and not as a senator.

Expel her

Congressmen said the Senate should consider expelling De Lima for alleged obstruction of justice without waiting for a complaint from the House of Representatives.

But Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas indicated that it is the House that would initiate the process of taking action against De Lima.

“First, the show-cause order for her to explain why she should not be cited in contempt will be served upon her to give her the opportunity to be heard,” he said in a text message to The STAR.

“The committee on justice will thereafter act depending on her action or inaction. The committee may pursue other courses of action, depending on her explanation, such as but not limited to an ethics complaint before the Senate and/or the Supreme Court,” he said.

REPS ALVAREZ AND FARIÑAS

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez agreed with Fariñas that De Lima committed contempt of the House by advising Dayan to hide and ignore the chamber’s subpoena for him to testify in its inquiry into the illegal drug trade at the NBP.

Asked in a television interview what would happen next, Alvarez said, “Well, she has to appear in the House of Representatives and show cause why she should not be cited for contempt.”

SENATORS ROQUE, ATIENZA

Reps. Harry Roque of Kabayan and Lito Atienza separately urged the Senate to investigate De Lima and expel her, if she does not resign.

Roque said senators could take action against their colleague without waiting for a complaint from the House or any interested party.

“I’d like to see what the Senate would do to save its integrity. Any senator could initiate an ethics committee probe. I’d like to see who would. The facts are already a matter of public record,” he said in a television interview.

In the absence of a complaint from any senator, he said the Senate ethics committee could motu propio (on its own) investigate De Lima.

“I’d like to see them taking action because it is the Senate that is on the spot here. Otherwise, we might be forced to file the needed complaint,” he added.

Roque also admitted there were inconsistencies in the statements of Dayan and drug trader Kerwin Espinosa, who testified at a Senate inquiry on Wednesday on the suspicious death of his father in his jail cell in Albuera, Leyte.

“Despite these inconsistencies, I find Dayan to be a credible witness,” he said.

One conflict is on the date of delivery of drug money. Espinosa claimed he turned over money to Dayan for De Lima between August 2015 and February this year.

DAYAN CREDIBLE

Dayan said it took place in 2014 and could not have happened in 2015 and 2016 because he was no longer working for De Lima at that time.

Espinosa had testified that Albuera police station head Chief Insp. Jovie Espenido introduced Dayan to him. Both Espenido and Dayan said they did not know each other and have not even met.

Typo error

Roque said the inconsistency in the years 2014 and 2015 in the affidavits of Dayan and Espinosa could just have been “typographical error.”

“What is important is the delivery of money to Dayan for De Lima. This was a consistent statement,” he said.

For Rep. Alfredo Garbin of party-list group Ako Bicol, the conflicting assertions of Dayan and Espinosa meant that one of the two was lying.

For his part, Atienza said Pimentel should take the initiative that would lead to the expulsion or resignation of De Lima.

Dayan told the House justice committee on Thursday that he ignored the chamber’s subpoena and went into hiding upon the advice of De Lima.

To corroborate his statement, Fariñas called for Dayan’s daughter Hannah Mae, who read from her mobile phone the senator’s Viber message intended for her former driver.

In her message, De Lima warned that if Dayan appeared in the inquiry, Alvarez and his allies – on orders of President Duterte – might just humiliate her. – Marvin Sy, Jess Diaz

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

Dayan’s wife more of the victim – Sotto By Marvin Sy (The Philippine Star) | Updated November 27, 2016 - 12:00am 0 0 googleplus0 0


Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III was reacting to the hearing at the House of Representatives last Thursday, where congressmen drew out salacious details of the seven-year affair. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - The one most embarrassed or hurt by revelations on the love affair of Sen. Leila de Lima and her former driver Ronnie Dayan was the latter’s wife Neneng.

Senate Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III was reacting to the hearing at the House of Representatives last Thursday, where congressmen drew out salacious details of the seven-year affair.

Vice President Leni Robredo and many women legislators have criticized members of the House committee on justice for going into the details of the relationship, when it was clearly a private matter and had nothing at all to do with the alleged involvement of De Lima in the illegal drug trade.

Hearing the testimony of her former driver-lover last Thursday, De Lima said she was heartbroken by how her personal relationship had become a subject of public ridicule.

“I am quizzical about why some women legislators are so concerned about the privacy of Sen. De Lima and yet I have not heard them to be concerned about the wife of Dayan,” Sotto said. “I think she is more of the victim.”

De Lima had previously admitted to having an affair with Dayan, describing it as the “frailties of a woman.”

Robredo called what took place in the House hearing as “slut shaming” and a form of harassment.

Sen. Grace Poe said a lot of the questions were geared towards voyeurism and that certain personal affairs should not have been discussed.

Sen. Risa Hontiveros called it a “public lynching in aid of misogyny and sexism.”

Sotto said regardless of what was discussed during the hearing, the affair in itself was definitely devastating to the wife of Dayan.

“I think she is the most badly hurt, not only by the issues raised in Congress, but by the impact of the controversy on her children and family,” he said.

Sotto is chairman of the Senate committee on ethics, which is tackling two complaints filed against De Lima.

Some members of the House are also contemplating filing an ethics complaint against De Lima, either before the Senate or the Supreme Court, for telling Dayan to ignore the House summons.

Meanwhile, Bagong Henerasyon party-list Rep. Bernadette Herrera-Dy appealed yesterday to her colleagues in Congress to consider women’s feelings and stick to the real issue when questioning witnesses during hearings.

Dy said the line of questioning on the De Lima-Dayan affair got “too personal,” when the issue at hand was the alleged illegal drug trade inside the national penitentiary.

“All congressmen have the right to ask what they want to ask during the hearing – it is our right and privilege,” Dy said in Filipino. “But my wish and appeal is that next time, they also take into consideration what we women feel.”

She said she left the plenary hall early, feeling uncomfortable with the line of questioning of Dayan.

While she admitted the importance of establishing the extent of the relationship between De Lima and Dayan, Dy said the questions in last Thursday’s House hearing just got off-track from the real issue. – With Romina Cabrera


INQUIRER

Speaker won’t let go of De Lima, presses contempt charge By: Vince F. Nonato - Reporter / @VinceNonatoINQ Philippine Daily Inquirer / 12:50 AM November 26, 2016 Incoming House Speaker


House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez on Friday defended the House order compelling Sen. Leila de Lima to explain why she discouraged her driver and ex-lover, Ronnie Dayan, from attending the hearings linking her to the illegal drug trade.

Contrary to Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III’s reminder that the House should exercise “interparliamentary courtesy,” Alvarez said it was De Lima who “interfered” in the affairs of the House.

Alvarez said he agreed with House committee on justice chair Rep. Reynaldo Umali’s move to issue the show-cause order that threatened to cite her in contempt if she refused to comply.

“Well, she has to appear in the House of Representatives and show cause why she should not be cited for contempt,” he said.

Dayan was arrested on the basis of a contempt citation, after he failed to heed a show-cause order directing him to explain his absence from the House’s hearings despite being subpoenaed.

READ MORE...

During the House justice subcommittee’s hearing on Thursday, Dayan’s daughter showed a Viber message purportedly from De Lima advising Dayan to hide.

“That act of the senator is tantamount to interfering in the proceedings conducted in the House of Representatives and that itself is really contemptuous,” Alvarez said.

SENATE: OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said the government may charge the senator with “obstruction of justice” as well as concubinage for cohabiting with Dayan, a married man who has admitted to having sexual relations with De Lima for seven years.

“There is that special law that says that we would file if this will fall under the obstruction of justice provision. Let me study it and if warranted, we will file necessary action,” he said.

He advised the House committee to cite De Lima in contempt first before the Department of Justice moves to charge her for drug offenses.

He said De Lima publicly admitted the affair “and the Supreme Court is unerring in punishing this kind of immorality with disbarment.”

Alvarez also played down the “inconsistencies” observed by congressmen in the testimony of Dayan, who admitted receiving money from confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa but contradicted the statements of New Bilibid Prison inmates that he collected drug money from them.

Alvarez said Dayan “confirmed a lot of things” with regard to the allegations hurled at the senator, who was accused by President Duterte of involvement in the illegal drug trade after she launched an inquiry into abuses in the government’s bloody antinarcotics campaign.

“One thing for sure: that he delivered money to then Justice Secretary De Lima,” Alvarez said.

Several senators on Friday backed Sen. Panfilo Lacson’s plan to invite Dayan to reconcile his testimony with that of Espinosa’s. Lacson leads the Senate committee on public order and dangerous drugs, which has launched an investigation into the killing of Espinosa’s father, Albuera, Leyte, Mayor Rolando Espinosa Sr. —WITH REPORTS FROM TARRA QUISMUNDO AND GIL CABACUNGAN

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RELATED FROM PHILSTAR

‘House shouldn’t apologize for scrutinizing De Lima-Dayan affair’ By: Yuji Vincent Gonzales - Reporter / @YGonzalesINQ INQUIRER.net / 12:30 PM November 27, 2016


Ronnie Dayan, driver and alleged bagman of Senator Leila de Lima face questions from congressmen. INQUIRER PHOTO / NIÑO JESUS ORBETA

One of the congressmen who asked what observers called irrelevant and sexually charged questions on the intimate details of Sen. Leila de Lima’s relationship with her former driver and boyfriend Ronnie Dayan has stood by his line of questioning, saying that he and fellow lawmakers had nothing to apologize for.

Deputy Majority Leader Fredenil Castro on Sunday justified his questions to Dayan regarding his affair with De Lima were necessary to establish the credibility of his testimony.

“Walang dapat ihingi ng paumanhin ang Kamara sapagkat hindi tama ang pananaw ng lahat ng bumabatikos sa naganap na pagdinig noong nakaraang lingo (The Congress has nothing to apologize for, because the critics are wrong in their perception of the hearing this past week). Personally, I stand by my question, I stand by the way I asked those questions,” Castro said over radio DZBB.

“Napaka-importante sa direksiyon na aking tinatahak at direksyon ng aking pagtatanong para maabot ko ang conclusion na kung itong si Dayan ay isang credible o maaaring paniwalaan na testigo o hindi (It is important in my line of questioning to arrive at the conclusion whether Dayan is a credible witness or not),” he added.

During the House justice committee hearing on drug proliferation at the New Bilibid Prison last Thursday, Castro was one of the lawmakers who dwelled on Dayan’s seven-year affair with De Lima, who is accused of coddling drug lords and benefitting from drug money at the national penitentiary.

READ: House members feast on De Lima-Dayan love affair

Castro asked Dayan if his love for De Lima was “true, pure, and strong” (wagas, dalisay, at matatag) and would he betray her in the hearing. Other lawmakers pursued the same line of questioning that elicited laughter in the room, including questions on “climax” and “intensity” of their relationship.

De Lima’s fellow women senators and the country’s highest female official, Vice President Leni Robredo, have condemned the “malicious” and “unnecessary” questions by the congressmen, calling them “slut-shaming” and “public lynching in aid of misogyny and sexism” instead of legislation.

READ: Robredo, female senators hit solons’ sexism

But Castro dismissed criticisms against their line of questioning as politically motivated, adding that public officials should be “carabao-skinned” and not onion-skinned as they undergo public scrutiny.

“Alam mo marami ang bumabatikos dahil daw nasagasaan, marami ang bumabatikos pero kung titingnan mo ito ‘yung mga tao na may mga kinakampihan. Ito ‘yung mga tao na one-sided ang paningin. Ito ‘yung mga tao na ang kanila lamang sinasabi ang dapat mong paniwalaan,” he said.

(There have been many criticizing us, but if you look at them, these are people who just want to protect their affiliations. These are people whose view is one-sided. These are the people who insist that they are the only credible ones.)

“Tingnan mo kung sino itong mga nagsasalita. Sila ba ay mga independent na tao? Tingnan mo kung sino ang mga tumutuligsa. Sila ba ay mga tao na walang kinikilingang pampulitika? Suriin mo ang kanilang pagkatao. Kung ano sila. ‘Yan ang sinasabi ko na bago ka magsalita ay humarap ka sa salamin at tingnan mo ang sarili mo,” Castro added.

(Look at our critics. Are they independent? Look at them. Don’t they have their own political interests? Examine their reputation. That’s what I have been saying, before criticizing us, look at yourself in the mirror first.)

De Lima, who has vehemently denied accusations against her, said no woman deserved to be treated the way she was treated at the House of Representatives, adding that she would face her detractors soon in a proper venue. The lady senator has welcomed the Ombudsman’s fact-finding investigation on drug accusations against her./rga


MANILA STANDARD ANALYSIS

‘Wagas’ posted November 26, 2016 at 12:01 am



Senator Leila de Lima may cry persecution and attempt to play the gender card again, but recent developments just remind us of her hypocrisy in portraying herself a paragon of justice and righteousness.

She admitted engaging in a years-long affair with a man whom she knew to be married and who later on said they actually lived together in one house.

Worse, phone records show she advised this same man, through his daughter, to go into hiding so he could avoid testifying before the House of Representatives. This is not hearsay; her mobile number is easily reflected in the messages.

The courts and, eventually, history will judge De Lima. We hope the judgment would be swift and fair.

What stays with us, however, are our lawmakers’ speech and demeanor during the hearing.

READ MORE...

'OUTRAGEOUS QUESTIONS'

Perhaps they were playing to the gallery, or were genuinely intrigued by the salacious details of the relationship between De Lima and her bodyguard. Whatever it was, there is neither excuse nor redemption for the outrageous questions that approximated show business proportions.

The driver, for instance, was asked: “Ang iyong pag-ibig ba kay De Lima ay wagas, dalisay at tapat (Is your love for the senator eternal, pure and true)?”

Yet another question compared the affair to a typhoon or earthquake: What was the highest signal, or intensity, that the relationship reached?

The lawmakers also wanted to know the terms of endearment used by the two when they were with other people and when they were by themselves.

There was reference to the sex video that circulated; the candid driver said there could have been a recording, but it was most certainly not taken from his phone. Remember the lawmakers once considered playing the video during the hearing—an idea repulsive to those who believe such a display would serve no purpose in getting to the truth.

It is perhaps human nature to dwell—revel—on the misfortune of others. It is also tempting, especially for politicians, to portray themselves the bastion of morality whatever skeletons they may have in their respective closets.

But it is simply wrong for public servants, no matter how often they do it already, to use the privilege of their positions to inflict their crass thinking on the people, most of whom already confuse real life with the antics they see on television. Plainly they were crude, indecent and prurient.

We have kept such low expectations of our politicians; we expect just a few of them to behave honorably amid insane developments in our day-to-day governance. Sadly, given their performance in this week’s hearings, we may have to push the bar even lower.

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RELATED FROM THE MANILA BULLETIN

Robredo on new rumors: ‘Funny’ Vice president dismisses rumors of her involvement in illegal drugs and financing of the anti-Marcos protest 0 SHARES Share it! Published November 27, 2016, 12:03 PM By Raymund Antonio and MB Online


MB FILE—At the Quezon City Reception House, Vice President Leni Robredo updates the media on developments in the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, particularly the resettlement of those affected by Typhoon Yolanda. MB PHOTO/FEDERICO CRUZ


Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” Robredo laughed off over the weekend new accusations that she is involved in illegal drugs and that she funded last Friday’s anti-Marcos protest in Manila.

In separate interviews in Camarines Sur, Robredo dismissed these stories as “funny” and far from the truth.

Robredo, chair of the Housing and Urban Development Coordinating Council, was rumored of knowing Ronnie Dayan, the former aide and alleged bagman of Senator Leila de Lima.

Dayan testified Thursday, November 24 before a House of Representatives probe into the illegal drug trade of high-profile inmates inside the New Bilibid Prison when De Lima was still justice secretary.

“We heard from the news that Dayan said we have never met. It is really true that we have never met. This (Kerwin) Espinosa, I only saw that person now,” she said in Filipino.

The vice president thanked Philippine National Police director general Ronald dela Rosa for clearing her name.

Robredo was also accused by a group called “Republic Defenders,” which supports President Rodrigo Duterte, of financing the protest on Friday, November 25 against the hasty burial of former dictator Ferdinand Marcos at the Libingan ng mga Bayani. The vice president slammed the November 18 burial, comparing the act to a “thief in the night.”

Robredo questioned the rumor since she said everyone knows her of not having money. “I have difficulties in funds for my electoral case so I how can I funded this rally?”

She also said, “It is like an insult to many who joined (the protest) because they believe in and see what is right from wrong,” referring especially to the youth who participated in the protest.

The camp of Robredo earlier warned that a “well-funded and well-orchestrated” demolition campaign has started to malign the vice president.

Just recently, she was dragged into social media rumors that she had an affair with a congressman who got her pregnant.

“First, I have a boyfriend and I’m pregnant. Now I’m being linked to drugs. What is next?” Robredo asked.


INQUIRER

Ombudsman probes De Lima By: Vince F. Nonato - Reporter / @VinceNonatoINQ
Philippine Daily Inquirer / 01:10 AM November 26, 2016


Senator Leila de Lima. NOY MORCOSO III/INQUIRER.net FILE PHOTO

Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales has ordered a fact-finding investigation into the alleged involvement of Senator Leila de Lima in the illegal drugs trade.

“There have been some leads. We’re giving it due course by conducting fact-finding,” she disclosed to reporters on Friday night, at the sidelines of the University of the Philippine College of Law alumni homecoming.

The antigraft body took cognizance of the October complaint by Police Chief Inspector Jovie Espenido, head of Albuera, Leyte, police, who accused De Lima of receiving payoffs from confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.

READ MORE...

Morales said last month that she was not inclined to initiate a moth proprio investigation on the agency’s own impulse, citing the lack of firm leads against De Lima even as the House of Representatives held successive hearings to allow inmates and disgruntled employees to hurl accusations against her. TVJ

RELATED STORIES

De Lima says Dayan’s ‘lies’ a chance to clear her name

Morales describes ‘trying times’ amid Marcos burial, disrespect for rights

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RELATED FROM THE INQUIRER

Witness program accepts Dayan, Espinosa By: Gil C. Cabacungan, Leila B. Salaverria - @inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer / 01:30 AM November 26, 2016


Dayan and alleged drug lord turned witness Kerwin Espinosa. INQUIRER PHOTOS

The government has agreed to provisionally accept Ronnie Dayan and Kerwin Espinosa to the witness protection program (WPP), despite inconsistencies between their testimonies on the alleged delivery of drug money to Sen. Leila de Lima, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said on Friday.

Aguirre said prosecutors wanted to clear up discrepancies in Dayan’s testimony in the House on Thursday, and getting him into the program would embolden him to divulge more.

Once he does, he would be granted regular status on the WPP.

“We have a lot of questions to ask supposedly on inconsistencies in his statement and we want to clear that up. Personally, I think that he is hiding a lot,” Aguirre told a press briefing.

Dayan appeared to be holding back because he did not want to admit deeper involvement in the drug trade, Aguirre said.

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While Dayan corroborated Espinosa’s testimony that he received drug money for delivery to De Lima, he denied receiving funds from high-profile inmates and Rafael Ragos, deputy director of the National Bureau of Investigation.

Dayan’s and Espinosa’s testimonies also differed on the year and the frequency of the money drop-offs.

Change testimony

“It’s possible that he might change (testimony) and if he does, we would evaluate and perhaps admit him. But we don’t know that now,” said Aguirre, who skipped Thursday’s hearing.

“Not all inconsistencies would disqualify a witness from the WPP. We have a number of Supreme Court decisions where minor inconsistencies could be proof that someone was telling the truth,” he said.

Aguirre said the Department of Justice (DOJ) had no hand in the four-page affidavit submitted by Dayan to the House committee on justice.

Dayan has traveled back to his hometown in Pangasinan to be with his family, but he promised Aguirre he would return to the DOJ to formalize his entry into the WPP next week.

Aguirre said he was more confident about Espinosa’s testimony in the Senate on Wednesday, which would be used as the “smoking gun” to pin down De Lima. Espinosa claimed he gave P8 million in drug proceeds to De Lima, which Dayan appears to have corroborated.

He said the DOJ lawyers would also vet Espinosa for a new affidavit as part of requirements for WPP admission.

Malacañang believes Dayan can play a key role in the probe, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said.

“I think one of the senators said to allow for certain discrepancies, but I believe he’s still a vital witness to the whole illegal drug trade situation,” Abella said.

President Duterte had earlier identified Dayan as the link between De Lima and the drug lords operating from New Bilibid Prison.

Mr. Duterte said Dayan, who had been De Lima’s boyfriend, had collected payoffs for her from the detained drug lords.

He later described Dayan as a “vital witness.”

The legislators found it hard to believe Dayan’s statement that he had no influence over De Lima, given that he had recommended to her certain people for positions in the government.

During a trip to Zamboanga city on Friday, Mr. Duterte said he would leave it up to the people to judge the conduct of lawmakers who led the House inquiry.

“I cannot criticize them. I cannot praise them so I better keep silent. Let the people of the Republic of the Philippines judge the event anyway they want it. This is a free country,” he said, responding to queries on the lawmaker’s salacious conduct during the inquiry.


TORONTO STAR, ONTARIO CANADA

Nude students recruits, activists protest dictator Marcos’s burial in Philippines By JIM GOMEZThe Associated Press Fri., Nov. 25, 2016


Students belonging to a fraternity at the University of the Philippines, the country's premier state university, display placards as they run naked around the campus on Friday to condemn last week's burial of the late Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos. (BULLIT MARQUEZ/AP)

Naked fraternity recruits were protesting with placards that read, “Marcos dictator not a hero” at the state-run University of the Philippines.

MANILA, PHILIPPINES—Thousands of Filipinos, including more than a dozen nude students, protested Friday against the hasty burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a heroes’ cemetery, in a growing political storm that’s lashing the president who allowed the entombment.

A few thousand activists joined a “Black Friday” protest despite rainy weather at Manila’s seaside Rizal Park, where they carried Marcos’s effigy in a mock coffin.

While the anger was directed at Marcos and his family, President Rodrigo Duterte was also targeted for allowing the burial of the dictator, who was ousted in a largely peaceful “people power” revolt three decades ago.

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Protesters held placards reading “Digong traitor, a lapdog of the dictator,” referring to Duterte by his nickname.

Dozens of students trooped outside the presidential palace in Manila in a separate protest and burned an effigy of Marcos in a mock coffin.


Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the protests to proceed with permits but has stood by his decision to permit the burial. (AARON FAVILA/AP)

At the state-run University of the Philippines, a fraternity turned its annual recruitment ritual into a protest with naked student recruits running with placards that read, “Marcos dictator not a hero.”

“This run is a manifestation of our anger against what we see as the Marcoses trying to revise history, trying to revive their name because they have fallen from grace,” Alpha Phi Omega spokesman Toby Roca said. “We are angry that they are trying to ignore our painful history of human rights abuses under his term.”

Duterte, whose father served in Marcos’s cabinet, allowed the burial on grounds that there was no law barring his interment at the Heroes’ Cemetery, where presidents, soldiers, statesmen and national artists are buried. It was a political risk in a country where democracy advocates still celebrate Marcos’s ouster each year.


Protesters held posters reading "Digong traitor, a lapdog of the dictator," referring to Duterte by his nickname. (AARON FAVILA/AP)

Duterte’s decision was upheld earlier this month by the Supreme Court. Marcos opponents had 15 days to appeal the decision, but Marcos’s family, backed by Duterte’s defence and military officials, buried him in a secrecy-shrouded ceremony with military honours at the cemetery last week.

The stealthy burial enraged democracy advocates and sparked protests in Manila and other cities.

Protest leader Bonifacio Ilagan, a left-wing activist detained and tortured under Marcos, said many protesters are young Filipinos who did not experience the brutalities of the dictatorship but “got assaulted by the surreptitious burial.”

Ilagan said he was struck by the message on a placard carried by a college student in a recent rally that said, “If he was a true hero, why was he buried in secrecy?”


Protesters raise their smartphones as part of an activity during a rally at Manila's Rizal Park. Dozens of students trooped outside the presidential palace in Manila in a separate protest and burned an effigy of Marcos in a mock coffin. (AARON FAVILA/AP)

Human rights victims who suffered under Marcos’s rule asked the Supreme Court this week to order the exhumation of his remains and to hold his heirs and Duterte’s officials in contempt for their role in burying the body before the court heard final appeals.

Marcos’s rule was marked by massive rights violations and plunder. After being ousted in 1986, he flew to Hawaii, where he lived with his wife and children until he died in 1989.


Thousands protested against the hasty burial of Philippine dictator Ferdinand Marcos in a heroes' cemetery. (BULLIT MARQUEZ/AP)

Duterte has allowed the protests to proceed with permits but has stood by his decision to permit the burial. During a speech in southern Zamboanga city, he asked aides how the demonstrations in Manila went. He said past presidents who opposed the burial should have taken steps to prevent it, for example by passing legislation.

Duterte’s deadly crackdown on illegal drugs has been widely criticized but has not sparked widespread protests because many crime-weary Filipinos back the effort despite concerns over the killings of many drug suspects, said political analyst Ramon Casiple, the director of a think-tank promoting electoral and political reforms.

“Duterte’s decision to allow the Marcos burial opened up old wounds,” Casiple said.


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