All’s well? Duterte civility surprises De Lima
Senator Leila de Lima said she was surprised and flattered when President Rodrigo Duterte stopped and shook her hand before climbing to the rostrum of the House of Representatives for his first State of the Nation Address on Monday.
Duterte and De Lima had several exchanges in the media over the new administration’s declaration of war against criminality and illegal drugs that resulted in the sudden rise of killings in the country.
“I was surprised. Hindi ko akalain na (I did not believe) he would do that. It’s flattering,” she told reporters after Duterte’s Sona.
“When he first saw me about a few feet away, when he was a few feet away bago sya dumaan sa harapan ko, tumingin na s’ya sa akin pero gumanun sya ulit, seryoso. Nagulat na lang ako …bigla na lang parang nag-detour s’ya. He smiled and offered his hand! So I shook his hand,” she said.
(When he first saw me about a few feet away, when he was a few feet away before passing in front me, he looked at me. I was just caught by surprise when he sort of made a detour. He smiled and offered his hand! So I shook his hand.)
De Lima, who is calling for a Senate probe on the alleged extrajudicial killings under the Duterte administration, said the President’s gesture only showed that they had no personal wrangling.
“Kasi ang totoo wala naman kaming personal, I’d like to think hindi kami nagpepersonalan. Lalo ako, never akong namemersonal sa lahat ng ginagawa ko so that means when he made that gesture, I think that’s also a manifestation na wala taagang pesonalan…” she said.
(That just shows we do not have a personal rift, I’d like to think that we are not taking things personally. Especially me, I have never done things out of personal ill-will, so that means when he made that gesture, I think that’s also a manifestation that we do not have a personal rift.)
“Suportado ko naman ang kampanya n’ya against illegal drugs only that kino-caution ko lang po s’ya, kino caution ko lang po ang administration na ito na suguraduhin na ‘yang kampanya na ‘yan ay hindi lumalabag sa batas, hindi lumalabag sa mga karapatang pantao,” said De Lima, who served as the chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights during the administration of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
(I support his campaign against illegal drugs. I am just cautioning him and his administration to make sure that this campaign does not violate law and human rights.)
In fact, De Lima said she saw nothing wrong with Duterte’s latest statements that there would be no let-up on his war against illegal drugs.
“There will be no let-up in this campaign. Double your efforts. Triple them, if need be. We will not stop until the last drug lord, the last financier, and the last pusher have surrendered or put behind bars or below the ground, if they so wish,” the President said in his Sona.
De Lima said it was just Duterte’s style to motivate the law enforcers to give their all in the fight against criminality and illegal drugs.
“Kasi meron namin syang caution, warning sa mga law enforcers , (Because he warned our law enforcers: do not abuse the law,” she further said. IDL
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