De Lima hits back at ‘mastermind’ Duterte, ‘coddler’ Aguirre
Senator Leila de Lima on Friday tagged President Rodrigo Duterte as the “mastermind” of the filing of cases against her while she branded Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II as “coddler” of inmates who testified against her.
“According to the mastermind of the filing of cases against me—none other than President Rodrigo Duterte: ‘She has to face the music. It took months to develop the case,’” De Lima said in a video message posted on her Facebook account after she was ordered arrested for her alleged involvement in illegal drugs.
“They really have such nerve, all of them! Of course it would take you this long to manufacture lies against me! There must be so much Fentanyl in Mr. Duterte’s brain, for him to have the gall to boast of the testimonies of their witnesses who are convicted drug lords, and whose statements contradict each other.”
The senator called her accusers “liars” and ‘hypocrites.”
The filing of criminal cases against her, she said, was only the fulfillment of Duterte’s “fixation for revenge” after she investigated, as then chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, his alleged involvement in the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS).
BACKSTORY: De Lima blasts Duterte ‘vendetta,’ braces for arrest
In the Senate, De Lima also initiated a Senate probe into alleged extrajudicial killings in the country under the Duterte administration.
“The Filipino people know your style, Mr. President. To put the rule of law in your hands, silence your critics, and destroy those who will go against your caprices,” she said.
“Actually, this should no longer surprise us. If the President supported a policy of killing the poor and drug offenders, what is then stopping him from doing whatever comes into his head: absolve big time drug lords, acquit a kidnapper and queen of pork barrel scandal, fabricate stories and plant evidence against his critics, which he admitted he used to do when he was a fiscal, and continue killing the poor with impunity.”
“We all know now that every action of the President has no clear basis. He does it on a whim. Not because it is right or wrong, but because he can do it, and we are letting him. This is impunity. Whatever he does, he is confident that he is free from any punishment,” the senator said.
And while the Duterte administration was busy maligning and persecuting her, De Lima said, Vitaliano “coddled” prisoners supposedly in exchange for their testimonies against her while she said Solicitor General Jose Calida sought the acquittal of the convicted kidnapper and indicted mastermind of pork barrel scandal, Janet Lim Napoles.
The senator reiterated her innocence, saying she had never used her position for her personal interest.
“I speak before you with honor and integrity as my only defense. As former Human Rights Chairperson and Justice Secretary, I can look everyone straight in the eye and say: My track record as a public servant has never been tarnished by any wrongdoing, except until now based on manufactured lies. I have never used and will never use my position for my personal interest,” she said.
“I am innocent. I have never betrayed and I will never betray the trust of my country and the Filipino people,” De Lima added.
BACKSTORY: De Lima: I am innocent, I will not escape
She said she was not the Public Enemy No.1 but the Duterte administration, which, she said, has no respect for basic human rights, especially the right to life.
“If they think that by jailing me, I will turn my back on my principles, they are mistaken. Instead, they have encouraged me more to pursue truth and justice.
De Lima said she would answer all the accusations against her in the proper time and venue as she also vowed to continue “fighting the good fight up to my very last breath.” IDL/rga
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