PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte is throwing everything at Sen. Leila de Lima, leaving the usually pugnacious neophyte lawmaker in tears. It’s doubtful if her tears could soften the heart of the President, who doesn’t seem to relish any criticism.
Mr. Duterte has already declared his full support for the police in waging war against illegal drugs, the top priority of his administration. Now here comes Senator de Lima openly defying him by spearheading a Senate inquiry into why the police are leaving behind a bloody trail in its anti-drug campaign. To Duterte, who had been on the receiving end of her countless tirades, this was the last straw.
The President may be praised in naming her as a candidate who received campaign funds from drug lords and was among their protectors – as long as he has the goods on her. He’s doing a magnificent public service in identifying any individual, even a high elective official and former Cabinet member, who used his or her lofty position in government to further illicit activities.
Even before Mr. Duterte named De Lima, she had already raised many eyebrows when she steered clear of the luxurious “cells” of convicted drug lords in her raids of Muntinlupa as justice secretary. Worse, it was also proven that trading in illegal drugs in Munti was going on during her watch. These things considered, she might not be the appropriate person to pursue the probe on the salvaging of drug suspects allegedly by the police. Sure, the Senate has the oversight function to look into this, but couldn’t this probe be headed by another senator?
That said, I think the President went overboard in including her alleged affair with her driver among her supposed sins. However, I won’t go to the extent of calling him a misogynist for this, like what Sen. Risa Hontiveros did. (BTW, she sent several reporters scurrying to the dictionary to see what the word meant.) Donald Trump, ah, that’s a misogynist – but Duterte?
Mr. Duterte showed he’s onion-skinned and even unpresidential in giving in to gossip about the private life of a lady senator. There are doubts that the 55-year-old legislator still has the hots for that guy (or for anyone) as Duterte seemed to insinuate. Who does he think she is – the sister of a former high official? This sister was so hot that ABS-CBN even considered it news when she said she hadn’t had sex in a long time. No, she didn’t say how many weeks, or days she’d been a celibate.
The President is a heavyweight and shouldn’t be brawling with a lightweight lady senator. With the weight of Malacañang behind him, he’s certain to kayo her. Somehow, I don’t wish that Duterte would do to her what she had done to others. Can’t he get a Cabinet member to do the job?
Pacquiao’s farewell fight
It looks like the upcoming fight of Boxer (!!!)–Senator (???) Manny Pacquiao against World Boxing Organization champ Jessie Vargas won’t be getting much attention in Las Vegas. It has been reported that HBO has lost interest in the fight and won’t be airing it on pay-per-view. Worse, HBO reportedly has also dumped its contract with Pacquiao.
Promoter Bob Arum has been quoted as saying he’ll be talking with two other sports broadcasters for PPV rights for the fight. This doesn’t augur well for Pacquiao’s final fight. The lack of interest in Las Vegas is already evident when Thomas & Mack Center was named as the fight venue, not a big hotel.
Pacquiao ignored his campaign promise in deciding to fight again. “I have to earn a living,” he said, indicating that he’s not satisfied with the billions he had earned. Sadly, with the cold reception his fight against Vargas is receiving, he won’t be retiring from the ring in a blaze of glory.
Hopefully, this upcoming debacle in Las Vegas will make him devote more time to his work in the Senate.