‘Delicadeza’ vs life-and-death self-preservation

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OUR front-page news item yesterday, “De Lima should not attend Senate hearings – Aguirre” told of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd asking Senator Leila de Lima “to recuse herself from attending the Senate hearings on the proliferation of illegal drugs at the national penitentiary.”

Secretary Aguirre’s reason was that delicadeza, which he did not mention, should prevail in Senator De Lima’s thinking and decision-making. He said the senator should not participate in the proceedings because she is the very person involved in the investigation, along with her former driver-lover Ronnie Dayan and drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.

The Justice secretary cited his own example—saying he had inhibited himself from the case filed at the DOJ because he is the chief of the department. He proudly said that even before Senator De Lima asked for his recusal, he already did the right thing. “Di pa nya hinihingi, nag inhibit na ako dito. (Before she asked for it I inhibited myself),” he said.

Similarly, he believes and reminded Senator De Lima that because she is directly involved in the case, she should also inhibit herself from the Senate hearings.


“She should recuse herself. She wanted me to keep my distance from the cases at the DOJ and here she is, participating in the Senate hearings when what is being discussed is her accepting money from drugs,” he said.

Ethically, delicadeza-wise, Justice Secretary Aguirre is, of course correct.

But there is another traditional rule that gives a wide berth for self-preservation to a person who is facing a threat to his or her life. What Senator De Lima is involved in is a struggle to keep herself alive politically and legally.

Before this scandalous case reached its present pass, two witnesses who appeared at the Senate hearing on the proliferation of drugs and the massiveness of the contraband drug trade in our country, testified how she had behaved recklessly while she was the secretary of justice.

She admitted she committed her indiscretions, or what she called “frailties of a woman.” She had placed her life at risk—not just her soul. She could have been done in by the people she had hurt, including the family of the married driver and security guard she had an affair with.

The investigation—in which she has been pinpointed as an alleged participant in or at least a beneficiary of the illegal drugs industry—will lead to a Senate report of the two committees that jointly carried out the hearings. Senator De Lima will surely be mentioned disparagingly, even if the report merely sticks to the narrations made by the witnesses.

De Lima should not be criticized for attending any further Senate hearings. Besides, as a senator she has the right to participate.

However, her fellow honorable senators should not support any move she might make to derail the hearings or silence other witnesses.

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4 Comments

  1. Quoting your editorial on De Lima’s delimma to recuse or to get herself involve in the senate
    “But there is another traditional rule that gives a wide berth for self-preservation to a person who is facing a threat to his or her life.”

    One has to ask “what self preservation are we talking about?” when she knows that Dayan is married man. As a lawyer she knew it is WRONG. How can an intelligent and purportedly strong woman use ‘frailties’ as a reason and use it to SPIN and promote herself on TV as a righteous and honest woman when she lies to millions of Filipinos. A GRO has more decency than De Lima – as they would know who they would get involved with and will probably shut their mouth when it is time to. De Lima is a Senate member not someone who is on the street trying to survive by selling her body.

    I bet you that as a lawyer she can quote an act which states it is wrong to get involve with a married man and the penalties of it. It is so hypocritical of De Lima to surround herself with nuns and priests on her speech rounds at Christian schools and colleges. Can we ask what was she praying when she had this photo taken in October

    http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2016/10/11/1632455/convicts-tag-de-lima-drug-trade-protector

    This was before she put herself on TV and admitted that she has a relationship with Dayan. She knew that Dayan will be caught too that is why she admitted it. To make an honest woman out of her. Anyone defending and reasoning with her must have something wrong with the way they think too when they know that it is wrong.

    The person (DE LIMA) knows she’s got nothing to lose – the more she lies it will be better for her and if most Filipinos will believe her – then we’ve been all conned by a not so pretty woman. Not to insult her matalino lang si De Lima – it will be degrading to say she is pangit but acceptable to say hindi masyadong may hitsura – and this is De Lima’s insecurity. That is the bottom line of things. If you’re not pretty enough – you use your intelligence to gain power… and as they say POWER CORRUPTS!

  2. Delima is done in politics and as a lawyer. She has even lost her influence in the drug business. Her only hope for the future is attending the Senate hearings and being advertised a talented theatrical person. Maybe she can land a movie role as a villain!