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Poe on House hearing on De Lima's affair: Upsetting

Composite image of former driver and bodyguard Ronnie Dayan and Sen. Leila de Lima. PNP-PIO - AP

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Grace Poe on Friday called the House inquiry on proliferation of illegal drugs at the National Bilibid Prison a form of voyeurism for going over the line with legislators dwelling on the personal life of her colleague.

Speaking at the Women in Business Breakfast Forum in Makati City, Poe said that the House committee on Justice hearing is “quite upsetting.”

“A lot of the questions were geared towards voyeurism—national voyeurism as opposed to 'in aid of legislation,'” the senator said as she shared her thoughts on women leadership and influencing change.

Poe was referring to line of questioning of some members of the committee against the controversial driver and bodyguard of Sen. Leila de Lima.

READ: Leila hits inconsistencies, laments ‘betrayal’

De Lima earlier admitted that she had an affair with Ronnie Dayan. Dayan yesterday confirmed having a seven-year relationship with then Justice secretary despite being married.

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The main objective of the inquiry was to determine whether De Lima was involved in the illegal drug trade in the national penitentiary in Muntinlupa where Dayan is being accused of serving as her bagman.

The reopening of the hearing, however, feasted on the details of the love affair between De Lima and Dayan. Some lawmakers asked the favorite food of the senator, their anniversary, the “intensity” and “climax” of the relationship and even asking whether an alleged sex video exists.

“This is quite upsetting... We understand that a lot of things have to be investigated but I think that the details of certain personal affairs should not have been discussed,” Poe said.

READ: 2014 or 2015? Dayan departs from Kerwin's statements

De Lima for her part cried foul over the investigation she described as “spectacle that diverts from more important issues” of the country.

“As a woman, it breaks my heart that my private life and personal relationship have become subject of the public and Congress’ ridicule. No woman, whoever or whatever she may be, whether a sitting senator or a humble secretary, deserves to be betrayed, to be treated with so much disrespect and without dignity before the public eye, by any man she is with or had a relationship with,” the senator added.

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