Pimentel: Lawmakers immune to suits with imprisonment below 6 years

Pimentel: Lawmakers immune to suits with imprisonment below 6 years

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III reiterates that no one is above the law but he stressed the that law also grants any members of the Congress immunity to suits that are punishable of imprisonment below 6 years. Pimentel said the obstruction of justice, the offense allegedly committed by Senator Leila de Lima, is punishable with less than six years imprisonment.

Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III reiterates that no one is above the law but he stressed the that law also grants any members of the Congress immunity to suits that are punishable of imprisonment below 6 years.

Pimentel said the obstruction of justice, the offense allegedly committed by Senator Leila de Lima, is punishable with less than six years imprisonment.

Pimentel is reacting to House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez’s reported plan to order De Lima’s arrest should the latter refuse to recognize the show-cause order issued by the House of Representatives.

“Pag aralan natin ito kasi novel question ito but principal sa ating batas, no one is above the law kaya parati kong sinasabi sa inyo,” he said.

“But then if the Constitution grants immunity or grants a benefit to a member of Congress or to someone else, we also have to respect whatever the Constitution grants. Pag aralan muna natin ito. Anyway, the question not yet before us, wala pa naman ding arrest warrant or whatever,” he added.

Pimentel pointed out that under the Constitution, lawmakers are immune from arrest while Congress is in session if the crime is not punishable by imprisonment of not more than six years.
And the penalty for obstruction of justice, he said, is below six years.

Asked then if De Lima could not be arrested, Pimentel said, “Wala pa tayo roon. Yung arrest warrant na mention ko is the regular arrest warrant, which is issued by courts.”

The House issued the show-cause order against De Lima for allegedly advising her former driver, Ronnie Dayan, not to attend its investigation on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the New Bilibid Prison when she was still Justice Secretary.

Source: Inquirer

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