De Lima attends hearing

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, May 19) — Senator Leila De Lima on Friday came to the hearing on the case accusing her of refusing to attend a Congressional inquiry on the drug trade inside the national penitentiary.

She listened as her lawyers argued the testimony of the daughter of her former aide, Ronnie Dayan, is hearsay. 

During a House Committee on Justice hearing last November, Dayan's daughter said De Lima told her in a text message that her father should hide and not attend the hearing at the House of Representatives.

Dayan's testimony was the basis for the filing of the case against the Senator by House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Rep. Rey Umali. The solons accused De Lima of disobedience to summons under the Revised Penal Code.

De Lima's lawyers argued Dayan was already in hiding when the text exchange between their client and Dayan's daughter took place. They also claimed the complainants have no evidence proving De Lima influenced Dayan to snub the House investigation.

They added the QC municipal court has no jurisdiction over the case, insisting the case belongs to the Sandiganbayan.

Before June 9, the court will decide if the case will be dismissed or proceed to trial.

De Lima has been detained without bail at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame since she was arrested in February 24 for allegedly abetting illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison while she was Justice Secretary from 2010 to 2015.

When asked by the media how she is doing, she replied, "Well, I'm okay but I can't fully say that I'm okay. I'm deprived even temporarily. Kailangan ng lakas ng loob."