Duterte warns De Lima: ‘Don’t fight me; you’ll lose’
DAVAO CITY—The word war between presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte and Senator-elect Leila de Lima is far from over.
In an early morning press conference here on Thursday, the incoming President said he would launch an investigation on De Lima for her supposedly slow response in busting the illegal drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison.
Duterte said that it took the former Justice Secretary seven months to start doing anything about his tip on the proliferation of methamphetamine hydrochloride (shabu) inside the national penitentiary.
“I will dig deep. Sabihin ko sa kanya, ‘Hoy, hija. Huwag mo akong masyadong pakialaman sa bunganga ko (I will tell her, ‘Woman, don’t focus on how I say things’). You better look in your own backyard because you have a very serious problem there. Shabu is being cooked there inside the penitentiary. It took her seven months to enter the premises,” the tough-talking mayor said.
It turns out that the rift between Duterte and De Lima goes a long way.
In 2014, Duterte testified in the Senate and threatened to kill alleged rice smuggler Davidson Bangayan.
“Shabu [inside the Bilibid] started during her time! Siya ang magbantay sa akin (And she will censor me)? I called her attention when she criticized me after I testified in the Senate on rice smuggling. Nag-mura ako doon (I cursed there)… She issued a statement. Instead of zeroing in on the real culprit, na yung Intsik, ako ang idedemanda niya (she will sue me) for threatening,” he said.
In various instances, the former Justice secretary said that she would act as a fiscalizer in the Duterte administration.
She said that she would watch out for Duterte, who supposedly emboldened local officials with his “anti-human rights policies.”
De Lima also expressed concern about Dutertes pronouncements that he would give dictator Ferdinand E. Marcos a hero’s burial, pardon former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and reinstate the death penalty.
“Dapat ngayon pa lang mangamba na tayo (We should be worried as early as now). Let’s be really vigilant,” she was quoted as saying.
Duterte said that De Lima should brace for the charges he would file against her.
“Hoy, De Lima, tumahimik ka (shut up)! I will investigate you. I will file charges against you. Do not pick a fight with me, you will lose,” he warned. IDL/rga
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