Duterte: Refusal to believe me on De Lima’s guilt ‘an insult’ | Inquirer News
INVOKES OATH AS PRESIDENT

Duterte: Refusal to believe me on De Lima’s guilt ‘an insult’

President Rodrigo Duterte described as an insult the refusal of human rights groups to believe his story that Sen. Leila de Lima had facilitated the drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison when she was justice secretary to fund her senatorial campaign in 2016.

“The greatest insult that I have received from these people is they refused to understand that the case against De Lima is true and accurate. They took the line of the left that she is a political prisoner,” Mr. Duterte said at the anniversary of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, where he railed against human rights groups on Wednesday.

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The detained senator on Thursday shot back at the President, calling him a “Chinese stooge” in a handwritten dispatch from Camp Crame.  Mr. Duterte’s soft stance on the country’s territorial row with China over the West Philippine Sea meant his presidential oath “is worth garbage,” De Lima said.

The senator has been locked up in Camp Crame since February 2017 on drug charges based on testimonies by convicted felons and drug traffickers already serving time in prison.

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De Lima denied the charges and said the case was payback for her investigation of extrajudicial killings in Davao when Mr. Duterte was still city mayor.

Invoking his oath as President, Mr. Duterte maintained that the charges are true and that a candidate running for senator needs “millions,” something that De Lima did not have, he added.

In her dispatch, De Lima called Mr. Duterte a “pathological liar … just like [the] so-called witnesses against me, whom you and your operators pressured to lie, also under oath.”

She added: “Oath does not replace proof and the truth. To resort to [one’s] ‘oath’ is to admit desperation.”

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TAGS: cases, De Lima, detention, insult, News, Rodrigo Duterte
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