Lacierda slams Duterte for ‘vacuum of respect’ for women
AS the President Duterte continues to attack Sen. Leila de Lima, former presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda called on her to remain strong and continue with her fight for the rule of law, as he slammed the “vacuum of respect” for women that marks the current administration.
In a Facebook post addressed to De Lima, Lacierda said he knows that she was “deeply offended” by the President’s “ill-concealed personal attack.”
Lacierda and De Lima were colleagues during the Aquino administration, where De Lima had served as Justice Secretary.
“Maybe this is the new ethics that pervades our land. Change has come, among others, where women are insulted, or threatened or made a subject of personal canard,” Lacierda said.
He asked whether this was the kind of environment women would now face.
“I wonder if this is the attitude that we will accord our womenfolk from hereon. I wonder if our fellow countrymen would approve disrespect to women or again justify this as his demeanor,” he said.
He pointed out that Mr. Duterte had attacked female officials before.
“This vacuum of respect is not the first time it has happened,” he said.
It had happened to a dead female Australian missionary, he said, in apparent reference to Mr. Duterte’s joke that the mayor should have been the first to rape her. He also said it had happened to the Chief Justice of he Supreme Court.
“That you are in good company is the only charitable thing I can say,” he added.
Lacierda also said that like others, he hopes for respect and decency, “and I pray these virtues do not go the way of the dinosaurs.”
He urged De Lima to “keep strong, just do your job,” as he reminded her that he had described her as one of the “Three Furies” of the Aquino administration.
“Therefore, however difficult your task is, you have a responsibility to always fight for the people and for the law,” he said.
He also consoled De Lima by saying that she need not stoop to the level of her critic, and quoted the words of the First Lady of the United States.
“Leila, just remember what Michelle Obama uttered in the Philadelphia DNC Convention – ‘when they go low, we go high,’” he said.
Lacierda ended his message to De Lima by sharing a quote from Margaret Thatcher, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom known as the iron lady, saying that personal attacks show the absence of political arguments.
The Thatcher quote goes: “I always cheer up immensely if an attack is particularly wounding because I think, well, if they attack one personally, it means they have not a single political argument left.”
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