If the Senate Committee on Ethics finds Senator Leila De Lima guilty of grave misconduct, she could face possible expulsion, Senator Panfilo “Ping” Lacson said Wednesday. “If it’s grave misconduct, (she might face) expulsion ranging from admonition, reprimand, suspension or dismissal,” Lacson told reporters in an interview.
He was referring to the committee’s review on the complaint previously filed by lawyer Abelardo de Jesus against De Lima in relation to her culpability in the reported illegal drug operations inside the New Bilibid Prison.
Lacson was sparing on details but said that the committee was set to meet on Sept. 13 to review the complaint against De Lima if it was sufficient in form and substance.
“We’re proceeding not with the hearing, but we’re still deliberating if the complaint is sufficient in form and substance,” Lacson said.
He said that if the complaint was not sufficient, however, the next move would be to return it to De Jesus and ask him to “cure” the said complaint.
The senator also said that the committee would also be appointing a general counsel to complete the organization. The committee will vote on the decision with the legal advice of the general counsel.
He pointed out that lawyer Karen Jimeno, spokesperson for the defense team during the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona, has accepted to be the committee’s general counsel.
Asked when De Lima would be given the chance to defend herself, Lacson reiterated that it would be, once the committee determined the complaint as sufficient in form and substance.
Lacson is one of the members of the Committee on Ethics which is Chaired by Senator Vicente “Tito” Sotto III. Also members are Senators Gregorio Honasan II, Loren Legarda, Grace Poe, Risa Hontiveros and Francis “Chiz” Escudero.