Duterte says De Lima played lead role in narcopolitics
President Duterte is convinced Sen. Leila de Lima is guilty of “opening the portals of government to narcopolitics” based on overwhelming testimony by prison guards, government agents and her security aides in the congressional hearing on how illegal drugs proliferated at New Bilibid Prison (NBP) during her term as justice secretary.
In a speech in Malacañang on Tuesday, Mr. Duterte attacked De Lima anew and even cited convict Jaybee Sebastian for purportedly telling the truth in his testimony during the inquiry conducted by the House of Representatives committee on justice.
“That is true,” Mr. Duterte said of the accusations that De Lima, an outspoken critic of his war on illegal drugs, started the invasion of drug syndicates in the country.
“A lot of witnesses have stated that,” he said, citing testimony of prison guards and officials of the National Bureau of Investigation and the Presidential Security Group.
‘Will lead to chaos’
“There is narcopolitics,” the President said, adding that it was deeply embedded in the country’s institutions with 3,600 barangay captains and 6,000 policemen on his new list of drug protectors. “I do not want to publish this anymore because this will lead the Philippines to chaos,” he said.
The President said Sebastian, whom De Lima had exposed as a “government asset” in NBP, was correct in his testimony that the drugs being cooked inside the national penitentiary were for the consumption of inmates and not sold in the open market.
Drugs made in prison
Mr. Duterte earlier claimed that most of the drugs in the country were manufactured inside the national penitentiary.
“For the life of me, did you know that the main play in illegal drugs in the Philippines is happening inside the national penitentiary? Ask a superintendent or warden. It is being operated all throughout the Philippines using just the cell phone. Be it in Parañaque, in Davao Penal Colony. I am having a hard time here,” he said.
The witnesses of the Department of Justice have accused De Lima of protecting convicted drug lords and turning a blind eye on their drug operations inside NBP in exchange for financial contributions to her senatorial campaign.
The President, who had earlier vowed to destroy De Lima, said his fellow graduate of San Beda Law School fell prey to her ambition.
“l’m not insulting her, it is just as a matter of law and proof. Look at her sartorial elegance of how she graduated, look at the previous (photo). A person cannot hold back giving a house as a gift. It has never been answered who owned the house and who spent for it. Obviously, we all know who. That is how narcopolitics has set in,” Mr. Duterte said,
He was referring to De Lima’s former driver and alleged lover, Ronnie Dayan, who was reported to have received a big house in his hometown in Pangasinan from the senator. Dayan is facing arrest for refusing to attend the House probe.
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