SENATOR Leila de Lima on Thursday branded as “garbage” the “matrix” released by President Rodrigo Duterte showing her alleged links to illegal drug operations, appealing to the Chief Executive to stop his attacks.
“As I have often said, I will not dignify further this so-called drug matrix which, as any ordinary lawyer knows too well, properly belongs to the garbage can,” said de Lima in news conference.
The senator said she found it “almost laughable” and amusing how the President’s men tried to pin her down through the “Muntinlupa connection” matrix, and couldn’t do it properly.
De Lima noted that Duterte’s matrix looked rushed and had grammatical errors, and didn’t even contain the names of drug lords and drug convicts at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa who supposedly gave her money.
The senator said three names included in the so-called matrix were former colleagues, while the rest were not close to her.
“Even the arrows all point to Governor Espino. Are they indicating that I’m reporting to the governor indirectly?” de Lima said.
The senator explained that as Justice secretary of the previous Aquino administration, she ordered Espino investigated by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) in connection with a murder complaint based on the testimony of a minor. The case did not prosper because of inconsistencies in the statement of the witness.
“It does not surprise me anymore to hear it from someone who had long professed to destroy me at all costs.
Like the many tirades thrown at me, these are bound to fail again with all of these trumped-up accusations and the worst matrix of all time,” de Lima said.
“Even a 12-year-old can draw such thing,” added the senator.
Wish: Love life
De Lima will be turning 57 on Saturday (August 27), and her birthday wish is for the President to stop his “madness.”
“This is my number one birthday wish. I seriously hope that the President would leave me alone, that he puts an end very soon to this madness,” de Lima said.
The former Justice secretary also said she wants to have a love life.
“I’m sad because it seems the President is bent on finding rumors about me. I really don’t want to have a love life anymore. I don’t want to remarry after the annulment of my marriage, that is my commitment to myself and to my children, that I won’t be remarried,” she said.
But given the situation, de Lima said she might need a partner who could somehow help her.
She clarified that “Warren,” who the President claimed was her new boyfriend, worked for the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority and is now part of the security staff assigned to her.
The neophyte senator, however, described the President’s latest revelation as “plain and simple chismis (gossip).”
“Maybe it’s part of their strategy…trying to diminish my credibility and trying to break my spirit. They’re dead wrong if they can think they can break my spirit,” de Lima said.