De Lima to Duterte: Arrest me now!
Senator Leila de Lima dared President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday to immediately arrest her amid continued allegations linking her to the Bilibid drug trade.
In a hastily called press conference at the Senate, De Lima decried insinuations that the violent riot inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) that left one high-profile inmate dead and three others injured, including convicted criminal Jaybee Sebastian, could be her handiwork.
“Ano naman ang implication nila? Kagagawan ko naman yan? Sila ang nanggigipit sa akin. Masyado na nila akong ginigipit, inaapi tapos ganyan pa ang gagawin nila?” she said.
“Lahat na lang sinisi sa akin. And they call themselves men! Ganyan ba ang mga lalaki? They are cowards, they are fools, and they are liars!” she said.
(What are they implying? That I was behind this? They are persecuting me. I am the one being attacked here and yet they do that?
They blame everything on me. And they call themselves men…Are men like that? They are cowards, they are fools, and they are liars!)
De Lima then reiterated her call for the President to end this “madness.”
“Tama na po. In your desperation, Pangulo, para siraan nyo ako, hindi nyo na iniisip kung ano ang nagiging hitsura nyo sa mata ng bayan at sa mundo. Kayo na po ang pinagtatawanan, hindi po ako. Inonsente po ako,” she said
“Tama na po. Sino naman ang susunod nilang gigipitin? Sino naman ang susunod nilang gagawan ng kwento?”
(That’s enough. INyour desperation, Mr. President, to take a dig at me, you no longer consider your image in the eyes of the country and of the world. You are the one being laughed at, not me. I am innocent.
Enough. Who will you persecute next? Who will you make stories on?)
De Lima said her former staff and officials had been telling her that they were being approached to speak against her.
“And I feel so helpless. I cant help them with lawyers dahil kung papadalahan ko sila ng lawyers sasabihin nila ayan kasi popoprotektahan (because if I send them lawyers they will say it’s because they’re being protected)…What I’m supposed to do now? Tell me,” she asked.
The senator then dared the President to just arrest her.
“Tama na, hulihin nyo na ako ngayon. Yun naman talaga ang gusto nyo. Ikulong na nyo ako ngayon. I’m here! Do what you want to me, Mr. President. I’ll wait for you,” de Lima said.
(Enough, arrest me now. That’s what you want. Jail me now. I’m here! Do what you want to me, Mr. President. I’ll wait for you.)
The senator said she would not leave the country despite alleged efforts by the Duterte government to link her with the illegal drug trade.
“I’m not going to leave this country and escape anything because there’s nothing to escape from,” she said.
In fact, she said, some of her friends had advised her to just seek asylum from other countries, following Duterte’s pronouncements that she would end up in jail.
“Why should I do that? I want to fight here in our country! Hindi po ako duwag dahil wala po akong kasalanan. Yung mga nagtatago lamang at saka yung mga duwag ang umaatras. Hindi po si Leila de Lima, hindi po ako pinalaki ng tatay ko na maging duwag,” De Lima added.
(Why should I do that? I wan to fight here in our country! I’m not a coward because I did no wrong. Only those who have something to hide and are cowards back down. Not Leila de Lima, I was not raised to be a coward.) CDG
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