Congress’ reputation tainted for nothing – Solon

Siquijor Representative and House Committee on Justice Member Ramon ‘Rav’ Rocamora criticized Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II for putting Congress in a bad light with his claim of having a sex video involving Senator Leila De Lima and her former driver Ronnie Dayan only to admit later that the DOJ does not have an authenticated video.

“I think it is very irresponsible for Sec. Aguirre to have subjected the House of Representatives into this kind of media circus based on non-existent evidence. By his statement he dangled this piece of video to lure us into believing in its existence. As a consequence, the entire lower house, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and the justice committee’s reputation is put in question,” Rocamora said.

“While many of our colleagues in the Lower House have already expressed their opposition to allowing this alleged sex video to be shown in order to save the institution’s reputation, the damage has already been done. Now the lower house has become a butt of people’s jokes. The Secretary should be lucky that Congress doesn’t hold him in contempt,” Rocamora added.

He said the DOJ can already file the appropriate criminal charges against Sen. De Lima without waiting for the investigation to conclude. He mentioned Speaker Alvarez’s view that the committee hearing should be to aid legislation and not to make recommendations whether or not to file cases in court. Hence, the DOJ could not expect a favourable recommendation from the committee.

“The DOJ doesn’t have to wait for us to end this investigation before they can file the appropriate criminal charges. If they say that they have more than enough evidence to implicate Sen. De Lima to the drug trade in Bilibid, they should file it in court already,” Rocamora said.

“Our main task is to get to the bottom of this proliferation of drugs in Bilibid and legislate solutions to improve and strengthen our penal institutions,” he added.

Rep. Rocamora is a former public prosecutor who has served for more than two decades. He has previously stated that some of the testimonies of the witnesses appear to be hearsay. Though some may be admissible, he said there is still the issue of credibility of the witnesses, noting that they are convicted criminals who are still under detention. He has also opposed the showing of the alleged Sen. De Lima sex video saying that this would erode the public’s respect for Congress.

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