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Why alleged sex video germane to probe on NBP drug trade

01:12 AM October 12, 2016

This refers to Ma. Ceres P. Doyo’s column titled “No to a House of Pervs” (Opinion, 10/6/16).

With due respect, the discussions in the House of Representatives on the possible viewing of a sex video purportedly involving Sen. Leila de Lima and her alleged driver-cum-lover Ronnie Palisoc Dayan have everything to do with unraveling the truth and establishing the facts.

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Contrary to the position of the Women Writers in Media Now (Women), as adopted and reprinted by Doyo in that column, the viewing of the video, if ever it would proceed, is not intended to titillate the public or to demean anyone, whether male or female.

The objective, stated by the Department of Justice in floating the idea of presenting the video in the House justice committee investigation on the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), is to establish whether or not De Lima and Dayan were indeed lovers.

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Dayan, after all, was tagged by several high-profile inmates at NBP during the ongoing House committee hearings as the alleged bagman of De Lima in taking drug money in exchange for her—as justice secretary then—turning a blind eye on the use of NBP as a base of operations by drug lords.

It is unthinkable and highly suspicious that a driver could have been trusted by then Justice Secretary De Lima to be the one receiving his boss’ alleged drug money. A lover, however, would better fit the bill of a trusted bagman, thus the materiality of looking at the video to determine if indeed De Lima and Dayan were the participants in the alleged sex video.

Allow me to also set the record straight: House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez never gave the “go-signal” for the viewing of the alleged sex video in the committee. He merely expressed his personal position, in response to a question by a member of media—that if the objective is to ferret out the truth, then a viewing of the video may be in order.

The Speaker has always upheld the independence of all House committees and all the members of Congress to decide matters on their own, based on the dictates of their conscience and their sound judgment.

The decision whether to view the video or not, in keeping with granting the committees a free hand in deciding issues raised before them, has been left by the Speaker to the wisdom and sound discretion of the members of the House justice committee.

Now, the problem with the statement of this group called Women is that it resorted to the use of such terms as “slut-shaming,” which presupposed that the woman in the alleged video is a slut when, in fact, no such judgment to that effect had been made by anyone in the House.

To allude to members of the House, as branded by Doyo, smacked of name-calling, which goes against the grain of dispassionate and rational discussion on a matter that, while it may involve the sexual act, is really about determining the identities of the participants, not the salacious details of the alleged video.

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On a final note, it must be emphasized that the House is likewise composed of distinguished women-legislators, who have expressed their opinion on this matter, which the Speaker himself supported.

DARREN M. DE JESUS, head executive assistant, Speaker of the House, 17th Congress of the Philippines

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TAGS: drug trade, drug war, drugs, House of Representatives, Leila de Lima, New Bilibid Prison, Ronnie Dayan, sex video
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