Umali testifies vs. De Lima in disobedience to summons case

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 29) — Oriental Mindoro Representative Rey Umali on Friday confirmed before the court evidence proving that Sen. Leila de Lima committed disobedience to summons.

Umali showed a text exchange between De Lima and Hannah Dayan, the daughter of the senator's former bodyguard Ronnie Dayan, which was discussed during the House investigation on illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.

The texts proved that De Lima advised the daughter to tell her father to skip the congressional hearing.

De Lima questioned the authenticity and veracity of the text messages as sole basis for filing the case.

Congressman Umali, Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez and Majority Leader Rudy Farinas filed this case against De Lima

Judge Ludmila de Pio Lim of the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court Branch 34 said the court still has to examine the integrity of the text messages.

The hearing will resume on November 24 with the defense expected to cross-examine Umali.

The court will also summon Ronnie Dayan, the photographer of the House of Representatives who took a photo of the text message, and a representative of the National Telecommunications Commission.

The court had earlier junked De Lima's appeal for a case dismissal "for lack of merit."

De Lima questioned the court's jurisdiction, saying the Sandiganbayan should hear her case instead. Her lawyers also argued her advice to Dayan via text message did not qualify as an act of inducing disobedience to summons.

The senator has been detained without bail at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame since February 24 for allegedly abetting illegal drug trade in the national penitentiary while she was Justice Secretary from 2010 to 2015.

CNN Philippines' Senior Correspondent Cecille Lardizabal contributed to this report.