While against the line of questioning at the House inquiry last week, Vice President Leni Robredo said Sen. Leila de Lima should address her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
Robredo, a party-mate of De Lima at the Liberal Party, reiterated that she sees no problem in questioning the senator, accused of benefitting from the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison.
"Iyong probe itself, wala tayo doong question kasi it is within the mandate of the House of Representatives at ng Senado na gumawa ng mga probe in aid of legislation," she said in an interview in Camarines Sur over the weekend.
She added: "Ako, interesado tayong malaman ang katotohanan at tingin ko, si Senator De Lima, kailangang sagutin ang mga accusations sa kaniya. Pero may paraan din doon, e. Hindi ganito."
De Lima has repeatedly denied any involvement in the illegal drug trade. She also dismissed accusations that she received drug money for her campaign.
The Vice President, a one-term representative of Camarines Sur's third district, said Thursday's hearing seems to have exceeded the bounds of the House committee's mandate.
"Maraming tinatanong na wala namang relevance sa kung anuman iyong gustong legislation na gustong gagawin," she said. "Parang ang purpose niya ay para hiyain si Senator De Lima."
She added that such may send a "chilling effect" to those who oppose the administration.
"Ang tingin ko, kailangan i-express natin ang ating pagkundena ng mga ganitong bagay kasi magke-create ito ng chilling effect to whoever na mag-express ng pagkontra, parang ang dating sa akin, parang wina-warn na ''Pag ginawa mo ito, mangyayari din ito sa inyo,'" she said.
"Kaya ito ang kinakalungkot natin. Sana ang integrity ng institutions pinapangalagaan ng mga tao sa institusyon na iyon," she added.
Robredo earlier said the solons' focus on De Lima's affair with her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan was a form of harassment, with some questions "unnecessary" to the subject of the inquiry.
In turn, lawmakers have defended the line of questioning, saying they needed to establish the depth of relationship between De Lima and Dayan, who allegedly served as her bagman.