SENATOR Leila de Lima on Friday claimed President Rodrigo Duterte was working to kick her out of the Senate, using the Executive department and Congress as the means to achieve that end.
De Lima pointed out that the President, on several occasions, had declared his intention to destroy her, and that the Chief Executive had said she was “finished.”
“I sometimes wonder how it will end. What will happen to me next? I feel that I’m living by the day with no idea of what will happen to me tomorrow. I feel like I’m a dead woman walking,” de Lima said in a radio interview
“I know that this is going to be a long and very lonely battle but I never imagined that they would do this to me,” she added.
Duterte has linked de Lima, a former Justice secretary in the previous Aquino administration, to the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison. The President also publicly revealed de Lima’s alleged affair with her former driver-bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan.
The President’s allegations led to a House inquiry this week, in which a number of inmates and two of de Lima’s former subordinates at the National Bureau of Investigation testified that the senator received millions in payoffs from drug syndicates.
The money was supposedly used to finance de Lima’s senatorial campaign.
De Lima was ousted as chairwoman of the Senate justice committee this week after she brought out a surprise witness who claimed Duterte was behind the “Davao Death Squad” that killed 1,000 people from 1988 to 2013.
De Lima claimed the attacks against her, the inquiry of the House committee on justice and her ouster as head of the Senate committee on justice and human rights were part of Duterte’s effort to get rid of her.
In addition, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd claims he was gathering evidence to file criminal and administrative cases against the senator, including documents from the Anti-Money Laundering Council supposedly showing she had millions in bank deposits.
The senator on Friday denied this, and added that she had no dummy accounts for drug payoffs.
De Lima is also facing two complaints at the Senate ethics committee headed by Sen. Vicente Sotto 3rd in connection with her activities when she was secretary of Justice.
The first complaint was filed by lawyer Abelardo de Jesus, while the second complaint was filed by Ronillo Pulmano, an overseas Filipino worker.
She also has to contend with an election protest filed before the Senate Electoral Tribunal by losing senatorial candidate Francis Tolentino, former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman.
Tolentino filed his complaint in July, asking the tribunal to nullify and recount more than 1.3 million votes.
Tolentino landed on 13th place in the May 9 senatorial race after getting 12,811,098 votes, 1.3 million votes behind de Lima who won 14,144,070 votes.