SENATOR Leila de Lima will hold President Rodrigo Duterte “responsible” should something happen to her as she deplored his continued verbal attack on her in public.
De Lima yesterday expressed alarm over the supposed “veiled threat” of the President against her when he mentioned her name while threatening mayors who were allegedly involved in illegal drugs.
On Monday the President warned concerned mayors involved in drug trafficking that they will suffer the fate of drug dealers who either got killed in a police buy-bust operation or were put to jail.
She said that in a speech in during the oathtaking of new public officials in Malacanang, the President said: “Magtanong kayo sa isang pulis dito kung may sinabi ako na patayin mo yang si De Lima.”
“May nagtatanong ba sa kanya kung kasama ako sa threat? Wala namang nagtanong sa kanya. You just have to read between the lines of his statements kasi nakakabigla ‘yung bigla na lang niya akong isasama diyan sa usapin na ‘yan ng pagpapapatay,” she said in a chance interview.
“In fact, the fact itself na paulit-ulit nila yang sinasabi—beginning with the President, and then kina (Justice Secretary Vitaliano) Aguirre, kina (Solicitor General Jose) Calida—na I’m the leading narcopolitician and the public enemy no. 1, makes me already a fair game for sinister things,” she said.
De Lima added: “Maaaring hindi mismo sa grupo nila but sa iba, ‘yung mga fanatics, ‘yung mga grupong out to destabilize the government, to embarrass the President. Kasi siyempre kung may mangyari sa akin, sino ang number one suspect? Di ba siya?”
“And I’m making him responsible if something happens to me. Take my word, or note my word: if something happens to me, he is the one responsible, directly or indirectly dahil ginagawa nila akong ano eh, paulit-ulit nila akong dine-demonize,” she said.
She continued: “Kung dapat patayin ‘yung mga small-time na nag-aano (nagbe-benta) lang naman ng pakonti-konting shabu diyan sa community nila, ano ba naman si De Lima which they are depicting as the biggest narcopolitician, na malaking kasinungalingan pati. So what is that?”
“That’s why if something happens to me, whether he is responsible directly for that—which is not impossible na siya mismo ang mag-o-order niyan—or indirectly, reading through his statements. Kasi nga ako dapat ang pinakamalaki raw, mas malaki raw ako kina (self-confessed drug dealer) Kerwin Espinosa, kina (convicted kidnapper) Jaybee Sebastian. Can you believe that?” said De Lima.
P50M extort probe nixed
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II yesterday nixed Senator Leila de Lima’s proposal for the Senate to conduct an inquiry into the alleged P50-million extortion by dismissed Bureau of Immigration (BI) officials on Chinese gaming mogul Jack Lam.
In an interview, Aguirre stressed a Senate hearing was already unnecessary because various government agencies are already investigating the controversy.
“There’s no need for the Senate inquiry; it’s beating a dead horse,” he said.
At the same time, Aguirre laughed off De Lima’s allegation that the parallel probes of the BI and National Bureau of Investigation lack credibility as both agencies are under Aguirre’s department.
“The case is with the Ombudsman already. Since she does admire the Ombudsman very much, shouldn’t she just leave it with the Ombudsman?” Aguirre stressed.
With Hector Lawas