Duterte downplays De Lima outburst, says she needs a break
“I was the one oppressed,” President Rodrigo Duterte told Sen. Leila de Lima on Wednesday amid their escalating word war.
In a press conference after her departure speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (Naia), Duterte said de Lima launched several investigations but no single case was filed against him.
“Look, she was the chairperson of the human rights for many years, she was the secretary of justice for many years, she has been a senator for a time now, in all of these events in her life, she talked about me harping on extrajudicial killings,” he told reporters.
“And yet to this date, no cases were filed,” he added.
On Wednesday, a visibly upset de Lima dared Duterte to immediately arrest her amid continued allegations linking her to the drug trade inside the New BIlibid Prsion (NBP).
The President downplayed this statement by the senator.
“Anong gawain ko sa kanya (What will I do to her)?” he said, adding de Lima could be tapped for a role in a drama show.
Despite his tirades, Duterte said he was not trying to belittle de Lima.
“You know, I’d like to, in all sincerity as a human being, I think honestly, I’m not trying to derogate her, she’s a lawyer, she’s bright, I think she’s breaking down,” he said.
The chief executive said the de Lima might experience a “nervous breakdown” if she continues to “yak.”
He advised the senator to take some rest.
“I would suggest that she takes days off then maybe…if she continues yakking there and listening to…she will have a nervous breakdown,” he said.
Duterte said the most “serious” charge against de Lima could be the allegation that she used drug money to fund her senatorial bid.
“Actually, except for the itong drugs linking her sa, I think the most serious charges against her is the portals of the national government have been opened by her election as senator because of the drug money,” he said.
He said illegal drugs are now all over the country.
“We are now a narcoplitics,” he said, citing 92 percent of the villages in the country were infested by illegal drugs.
He said this was the reason why he wanted the postponement of the barangay elections.
“That is why I am not in favor of calling an election now. Drug money will flow down to the basic unit—the barangay and it will strengthen the hold of narcopolitics now existing in our country,” he said.
“It behooves upon me to tell you what the truth is and prevent something catastrophic in the future,” he added. IDL
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