Gordon: No more ethics complaint vs De Lima

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Richard Gordon will no longer file an ethics complaint against Senator Leila de Lima for her alleged "unparliamentary" acts during the October 3 hearing on extrajudicial killings.

Gordon told this to reporters after he and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, another colleague embroiled in their word war, reconciled on Wednesday, October 5. (READ: Trillanes, Gordon fix spat: No more word war)

"Kakausapin ko na lang kasi serious 'yun eh. 'Pag ethics, serious 'yun that's why you really have to watch out," Gordon said.

(I'll just talk to De Lima. It's serious when it's an ethics complaint, that's why you really have to watch out.)

Gordon said it's time for them to move forward, but not without a reminder to De Lima and Trillanes.

"As senators, you must always be of mild temperament and must be collected," he said.

Earlier in the day, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III and Majority Leader Vicente Sotto III said they were open to helping the bickering senators resolve the issue.

"Puwede siguro. Susubukan natin. I'll talk to the Senate President. Sa tingin ko kaya, puwede naman," Sotto said.

(I think it's possible. Let's see. I'll talk to the Senate President. In my view, it can be done.)

Asked if he would intervene, Pimentel said: "Tingnan po natin, depende sa facts, depende sa formal actions. Malay mo, as we speak right now, malay mo nagkaayos na pala."

(Let's see, depending on the facts, formal actions. Who knows, as we speak right now, maybe they were able to patch things up already.)

Gordon on Tuesday said he could not let De Lima's actions pass because they damaged the Senate's reputation.

Gordon accused De Lima of "material concealment" for allegedly failing to disclose early on the kidnap-for-ransom case filed against witness Edgar Matobato, a self-confessed hitman of the Davao Death Squad.

De Lima cried foul over the allegation and asked Gordon for an apology. The latter refused to apologize, prompting De Lima to walk out.

"I don't know how I will take Senator De Lima back. She walked out on the committee. I did not ask her to leave, 'di ba (right)?" Gordon said.

Still a friend

Despite this, Gordon said he still considers De Lima a friend.

"Hindi naman siya kalaban eh (She is not an enemy)," he said. "If she wants to talk about it, we will talk about it civilly, in a calm and collected manner."

It was Gordon who replaced De Lima as justice committee chairperson, following her ouster days after she presented Matobato as witness.

Matobato accused President Rodrigo Duterte of ordering killings when he was still Davao City mayor.

The committee has since decided to continue the probe into the killings but without Matobato, who Gordon called "damaged goods" for having lost his credibility. – Rappler.com

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email camille.elemia@rappler.com

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