De Lima hits ‘public figures’ who believe she was in drugs | Inquirer News
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De Lima hits ‘public figures’ who believe she was in drugs

By: - Reporter / @MAgerINQ
/ 11:08 AM December 21, 2016
SENATE/FEB.2,2015 Senator Grace Poe-Llamanzares, chair of the Senate committee on public services hearing on the defective MRT-LRT services. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

A day after Senator Grace Poe (left) urged Sen. Leila de Lima to explain why illegal drugs ‘flourished’ during her term as Justice secretary, the embattled lawmaker hit back at ‘public figures’ who ‘swallowed hook, line and sinker’ the Duterte administration’s ‘fantasy’ that drugs proliferated during her term. INQUIRER PHOTO/RAFFY LERMA

Senator Leila de Lima expressed dismay on Wednesday that some public figures “have swallowed hook, line and sinker” the administration’s “fantasy” that illegal drugs proliferated in the country when she was the secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

De Lima issued the statement, a day after Senator Grace Poe stated that she should explain why illegal drugs “flourished” at the New Bilibid Prisons and other parts of the country when she was was Justice secretary.

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READ: Poe to De Lima: Explain why drug trade boomed during term at DOJ

“It’s saddening and frightening that even high-ranking public figures have swallowed hook, line and sinker the fantasy that the Duterte administration has been weaving: that a single person was single-handedly responsible for the proliferation of drugs in our country, and that it took place only over the course of my term as Secretary of Justice,” De Lima said in a statement.

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It was frightening, she said, because buying into that “fallacy exposes us to the dangerously myopic oversimplification of the problem, which will prevent us from truly solving it because we can’t even admit that the problem is systemic.”

“Sen. Delima was DOJ Secretary in the past administration when all these things flourished in the Bilibid and elsewhere, when it comes to this drug menace, the drug problem,” Poe said.

“It will not be solved by forming a lynch mob to gang up on a scapegoat. It will not be solved by denying facts, including about the source of the drugs that flow into our country and complicity of law enforcers on the ground — the very same law enforcers who are now given a license to kill and plant evidence on those killed,” she said.

“You can call me the High Priestess of all that is evil and corrupt all you want, but repeating it will not make it true, or succeed in ferreting out the true problems and real, lasting solutions to solving them. It will not change the fact that people are dying either,” De Lima added.

De Lima has repeatedly denied being a drug protector or coddler or that she had benefitted from the illegal drug trade.

“So I think it’s just right that she accounts for this and answers the allegations against her,”
[Poe] added.

Poe, in a television interview on Tuesday, noted that De Lima was the Justice secretary when the drug menace “flourished” in the country. The senator also noted testimonies that claim De Lima received drug money to finance her campaign for the Senate.

De Lima headed the DOJ during the time of former President Benigno Aquino III.

Confessed drug “distributor” Kerwin Espinosa and De Lima’s erstwhile aide and lover Ronnie Dayan have testified in the Senate that the embattled senator received P8 million in drug money.

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At the House of Representatives, convicts at the Bilibid, including an alleged asset of De Lima, said that she ordered them to sell shabu in exchange of millions in drug payoffs and luxurious accommodation inside the penitentiary.

De Lima has issued blanket denials of the allegations and has refused to respond to them. She has also avoided confronting her accusers or challenging them with their claims.

“Sen. Delima was DOJ Secretary in the past administration when all these things flourished in the Bilibid and elsewhere, when it comes to this drug menace, the drug problem,” Poe said.

“So I think it’s just right that she accounts for this and answers the allegations against her,”
she added.

De Lima and Poe are both part of the majority bloc in the Senate. CBB

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TAGS: Drugs, Grace Poe, Kerwin Espinosa, Leila de Lima, New Bilibid Prisons, News, Ronnie Dayan, shabu
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