But the Liberal Party Senator Leila De Lima is defiant.
She is meeting the present administration head-on.
The consequences haven’t been surprising.
She has been unceremoniously stripped of the committee chairmanship of the Committee on Justice and Human Rights.
De Leila has been pilloried in the administration-controlled House of Representatives.
It looks like after listening to the hearings in the House, De Leila is portrayed as the top player in the country’s largest drug den that is called Bilibid. Believe it or not.
Frankly speaking, I won’t be surprised seeing De Lima receiving her most unforgettable Christmas gift of her life–detention.
Duterte has long told De Lima in public “You are finished”
With those words, the die was cast.
What we see today is the execution stage.
Its going to be played by the book.
As early as next week the Department of Justice is expected to file criminal charges against De Lima for violation of the dangerous Drugs Act.
The penalties under this law include non-bailable offenses.
A panel of state prosecutors would expectedly be formed by the Justice Department to conduct preliminary investigation.
De Lima will be filing her counter affidavits.
There is a chance, that De Lima could immediately elevate her predicament directly to the Supreme Court by seeking protection of her rights.
But, in the absence of any restraining order, the DOJ proceedings will eventually lead to the determination of probable cause, and elevating the matter to the court.
There is, of course, no other way the DOJ will decide it as the DOJ Secretary himself has already determined probable cause against De Lima.
Why do you think he is spearheading the House fact finding inquiry?
After the complaint against De Lima is elevated, the court would then issue a warrant of arrest.
That’s another drama.
This scenario of course, is not unprecedented.
This happened to Senator Juan Ponce Enrile during the administration of Cory Aquino.
It can be recalled Enrile was arrested on charges of “rebellion complexed with murder”, if my memory serves me right.
The DOJ Secretary at that time was the chubby Franklin Drilon, now De Leila’s Liberal Partymate.
Then Enrile, this time with Jinggoy Estrada and Ramon Revilla Jr., comprised the latest batch of Senators sent to jail, arising from the PDAF scandal.
So nothing is new.
However, in the case of De Lima, she can face expulsion from the Senate if the Senate Committee on Ethics votes to kick her out.
Remember there are two pending Ethics charges against De Lima.
De Lima has a problem in the Senate.
She has natural enemies there like Ping Lacson whom she once hounded during the administration of Benigno Aquino.
Senator Joel Villanueva was hounded by the PDAF scandal, when De Leila was Justice Secretary. Now Villanue hounds De Leila.
So a lot of drama is yet to unfold till Christmas.
De Leila perhaps can seek assurance from popular Christmas song “I’ll be Home for Christmas.”
But will she?
By Atty. Jay I. Dejaresco