Senator Richard Gordon on Tuesday said he is considering filing an ethics complaint against Senator Leila de Lima for two reasons: for allegedly concealing material information about confessed hitman Edgar Matobato and walking out during a Senate investigation. In an interview with reporters, Gordon said De Lima may be ordered suspended, censured or kicked out of the Senate by the ethics panel over her “unparliamentary acts.” “I cannot let it pass because pinaghirapan namin ‘yan. And here’s another point, the Senate’s reputation has been sullied,” Gordon, chairman of the Senate justice committee investigating the drug-related killings, said.
“You invite all these people, you make them wait for 13 hours, tapos magwwalkout ka tapos merong shenanigans. Eh di masisira yung reputation ng Senado, diba?” he added. Gordon said “many members” of the justice committee agreed that De Lima’s walkout and alleged concealment of material information should go to the ethics panel. He raised the possibility of filing an ethics case in a caucus with the committee members, excluding Senators De Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV. The caucus was attended by Senators Grace Poe, Panfilo Lacson, Miguel Zubiri, and Manny Pacquiao. “Pinag-usapan namin. Hindi maganda yung ginawa talaga kaya malungkot kami eh. Hindi ko naman gusto saktan si De Lima eh. I’ve been friendly with her…I feel very, very betrayed,” Gordon said. “If they don’t believe us, if they don’t listen to us, if they hit us outside of the Senate, then it’s their own lookout. Ako, I don’t think you can ever accuse me of being biased and not giving them their due,” he added.
De Lima is already facing two ethics complaints due to her alleged involvement in illegal drug trade. Concealment Gordon had a heated exchange with De Lima Monday night over the alleged concealment of material information on the kidnapping charges filed previously by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) against Matobato. The case was filed by the common law wife of alleged terrorist Sali Makdum, whom Matobato earlier claimed was kidnapped and killed on President Rodrigo Duterte's orders. De Lima walked out of the hearing after she failed to get an apology over the supposed false accusations.
Gordon explained that material concealment falls on De Lima because she knew the information before it was disclosed by the NBI in the hearing. According to Gordon, Matobato’s counter affidavit submitted to the NBI contradicts his testimony before the Senate panel on Makdum’s kidnapping. “If you look closely at the counter affidavit, doon niyo mapapatunayan yung material concealment. ‘Yung kanyang counter affidavit, ang in-accuse niya dun yung military pero ang lumabas dito sa hearing, yung mga pulis,” Gordon pointed out. “That goes to character eh, don’t you think so? You have information that this guy had a different set of accused people that should have been let known to the committee,” he added.