MANILA, Philippines – Explain or be detained. Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez had this to say to Sen. Leila de Lima as he warned of a possible warrant of arrest should she snub the House justice committee’s show-cause order against her.
The panel ordered her to appear and explain why she should not be cited for ordering her former driver Ronnie Dayan not to attend the ongoing congressional inquiry on the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP). According to Alvarez, he will issue a warrant of arrest if she does not show up at their hearing.
“I think she has to explain why she had interfered with the House proceedings,” he told ANC. “(If she doesn’t), I’ll be forced to issue a warrant of arrest.”
Alvarez also insisted that it was De Lima who violated interparliamentary courtesy first when she told Dayan not to appear at their hearing and said any arrest is not intended to insult the Senate. “Is that parliamentary courtesy? Who violated parliamentary courtesy? Ito, may offense doon sa institution. Kami naman, nire-respeto namin yung Senado.
Walang problema doon, pero ‘wag naman na yung mismong legitimate proceedings ng House ay pinapaki-alaman ng isang miyembro [There is an offense against the institution. We of course respect the Senate. We don’t have a problem with it, but we won’t tolerate that a legitimate proceeding of the House is being interfered with by a member,” he said. “It is an individual offense committed by Senator De Lima, not by the Senate,” Alvarez added.