By Jun Ramirez
Senator Leila de Lima is facing an administrative case before the Office of the Ombudsman following her confession that she had an affair with her former driver-bodyguard.
A complaint against de Lima was filed by anti-graft crusader Greco Belgica who accused her of grave misconduct and acts prejudicial to the best interest of the service.
Belgica said de Lima “used her power and moral ascendancy to portray the role of Whitney Houston in the movie ‘Bodyguard.’”
He is seeking a six-month suspension for de Lima.
The senator has admitted on television to a sexual relationship with Ronnie Dayan, who is married.
Belgica said “such act is illegal and clearly prejudicial to the interest of the service and with her admission, she should be preventively suspended.”
Belgica’s lawyer, Eduardo Bringas, said the administrative case was separate from the criminal charges he filed together with the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption against de Lima before the Department of Justice (DOJ) alleging her involvement in the drug trade at the National Bilibid Prisons.
Belgica said in the complaint that through her admission of sexual ties with Dayan, de Lima had committed a disgraceful and immoral act punishable under the Revised Penal Code.
De Lima is also one of the respondents in a case filed Friday before the Office of the Deputy Ombudsman for Mindanao.
The case was filed by human rights lawyer Temogen Tulawie against de Lima, former Sulu governor and now vice governor Abdusakur M. Tan, Mehol K. Sadain, Edilwasaif T. Baddiri, and Wendel F. Sotto.
Tulawie, the founder and president of human rights group Bawgbug Inc., and another complainant (who requested anonymity citing security risks), said the five were involved in the release from jail of “high-value” members of the Abu Sayyaf in January 2014.
Tulawie was released last year after spending almost three years behind bars after he was implicated in the May 13, 2009 bombing in Patikul, Sulu, that injured 12 persons, including Tan.
The complainants said Abu Sayyaf members Mohammad Sali Said, Jul Ahmad Ahadi, and Robin Sahiyal were freed with the help of Sadain and Baddiri, former officials of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF) who vouched that the three were “innocent Muslims wrongfully arrested due to mistaken identity.”
Tulawie said De Lima placed Said under the Witness Protection Program (WPP) and provided him “funds, financial assistance, shelter, and legal services with the use of their public offices and by taking advantage of the powers, influence and connections of their respective public offices” using the DOJ’s resources.
He said Tan, who was De Lima’s election lawyer, used “the powers of DOJ to release, finance, shelter, and protect Mohammad Sali Said who is a high-valued Abu Sayyaf member.”
He told reporters that his co-complainant has personal knowledge of how he was convinced by Abu Sayyaf inmates while in custody at the Special Intensive Care Area (SICA) of Camp Bagong Diwa in Taguig in April 2012 that they would be released by Tan on condition that they testify against Tulawie.
On Friday, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said there is nothing personal in the ongoing investigation of De Lima for alleged links to the illegal drugs trade. (With reports from Antonio L. Colina IV and Jeffrey G. Damicog)