Duterte plotted my ouster, says De Lima
SENATOR Leila de Lima immediately accused President Rodrigo Duterte of masterminding her ouster on Monday as chair of the Senate committee on justice investigating the alleged extrajudicial killings under the current administration.
“Majority po ang nag-oust sa akin bilang chair ng committee on justice. Wala po akong duda na mayroong kinalaman dyan ang ating Pangulo,” De Lima said in a television interview shortly after she was removed as head of the committee.
“Bagamat nirerespeto ko po ang aking mga kasamahan, siguro po pwede kong masabi na naiitindihan ko ang ginawa nila pero uulitin ko po yun, imposible po walang kinalaman dito ang ating Pangulo,” she added.
On Senator Manny Pacquiao’s motion, 16 senators voted to declare the chairmanship and the membership of the committee vacant, only four voted against it while two senators abstained.
De Lima suspected that the President got angrier with her after she presented during last week’s hearing a witness, Edgar Matobato, who had accused Duterte of ordering the killings of enemies and criminals in Davao City when he was still the mayor.
“Syempre tumindi lalo ang galit nya (Duterte). Talaga namang galit sa akin di ba? I mean, he was not concealing yung galit nya sa akin when I started nga this inquiry na binastos talaga ako ng husto, may mga (binato) sa akin na below the belt, may mga statement like you’re finished,” she said.
“So itong mga ginagawa sa akin, mukhang mga finishing touches yun para sa kanya,” the senator added.
De Lima admitted that she was badly hurt that she was ousted chairman although she would continue as a member of the committee.
“Talaga naman syempre hindi ko maitatanggi na sobrang masakit ang nararamdaman ko,” she said.
While she said she understands that the House of Representatives would investigate her on her alleged drug links, De Lima said she was expecting that her colleagues in the Senate, if they could not come to her defense, would not add to the supposed pressure against her.
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