• ‘I’m not the enemy here!’

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    BELEAGUERED Senator Leila de Lima reads a prepared statement before the press at the Senate, appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to let her defend herself against his allegations that she took money from drug syndicates through her loverdriver. De Lima at the same time accused the President of misusing and abusing executive powers in his latest tirade. The President is immune from suit. PHOTO BY RENE DILAN

    BELEAGUERED Senator Leila de Lima reads a prepared statement before the press at the Senate, appealing to President Rodrigo Duterte to let her defend herself against his allegations that she took money from drug syndicates through her loverdriver. De Lima at the same time accused the President of misusing and abusing executive powers in his latest tirade. The President is immune from suit. PHOTO BY RENE DILAN

    De Lima vows to carry on with probe into extrajudicial killings
    AN EMOTIONAL Sen. Leila de Lima faced the media on Thursday and appealed to President Rodrigo Duterte to give her a level field and a chance to defend herself from his latest attacks.

    De Lima, in a prepared statement, complained that she was on unequal footing with Duterte, as she accused the President of unprecedented “abuse and misuse of executive power” when he publicly linked her to illegal drug syndicates and revealed her alleged illicit love affair with her driver.

    “I have always been loyal to my oath as a public servant. I’m not the enemy here. Stop portraying me as one,” de Lima said.

    “You’re the President. I’m just a senator. An equal fight is all I want. I hope you give to me what has already been given by the law and the Constitution to anyone who is accused under our legal system,” de Lima said in Filipino.

    The embattled lawmaker pointed out that Duterte, as President, cannot be sued in court.

    “How does one defend oneself, when the attacker is immune from suit, and has all the backing of executive power to support him in his personal attack?” she asked.

    “This is no less than abuse and misuse of executive power. I don’t think the Constitution has ever contemplated such abuse of power on such scale, as it assumes every President to conduct himself in a manner befitting the office he holds,” she added.

    On Wednesday, Duterte blasted de Lima, a leading critic of his war against illegal drugs, calling her an “immoral woman.”

    Duterte accused the lawmaker of having an affair with her driver, who also allegedly collected money from drug syndicates to finance her senatorial campaign.

    De Lima called on Duterte to spare her family, friends and former colleagues from attacks because they had done nothing wrong.

    “If you are bent on destroying me, please have a decency to spare my colleagues, friends and family. Wala po silang kasalanan [They did nothing wrong],” the senator said.

    De Lima however said that if the President thinks his attacks will convince her to stop next week’s Senate investigation into the extra-judicial killings of hundreds of drug suspects, “he can try until he finally silences me or the Senate.”

    De Lima also claimed that she knew of cases and “trumped-up evidence” being prepared by the Duterte administration against her, and expressed readiness to answer all allegations.

    The senator appealed to the President to put an end to “scare tactics” and “ridicule” and help bring back order through the observance of the rule of law and respect for fellow human beings.

    The day after Duterte’s tirade, however, a “sex video” and photos allegedly with de Lima in them made the rounds of the Justice department.

    De Lima has repeatedly denied that she has a sex video.

    Robredo backs de Lima
    Vice President Maria Leonor “Leni” Robredo rushed to de Lima’s defense, urging the President to refrain from personal attacks.

    “We are here to bring out the best in people. When we cheapen the discourse to personal attacks, we bring out the worst,” Robredo said in a statement.

    The erstwhile ruling Liberal Party also stood by the beleaguered lawmaker as it called on Senate President Aquilino Pimentel 3rd, a key Duterte ally, to defend de Lima and ensure the Senate’s independence.

    “Senator Leila de Lima is doing her job as a Senator of the Republic. She deserves support, not condemnation; respect, and not gutter language; she and our people deserve the facts, not innuendo,” the party said.

    “[W]e call on the Senate President to uphold the independence of the Senate whose membership must always be vigorously supported as they fulfill the people’s mandate to make inquiries in aid of legislation,” it added.

    Senator Richard Gordon however said the Senate should not interfere in the spat.

    “That is her (de Lima’s) problem. It the first place it could be personal,” said Gordon. “Why should we take a position? What if there is evidence?” he asked.

    For President Duterte’s allies, de Lima should not react violently.

    “I believe everything can be settled amicably among these honorable public servants. She should just relax. It takes a lot of courage to do that. As government officials, I believe they will do the right thing,” Davao City Rep. Karlo Nograles said in an interview.

    Rep. Magnolia Antonino of Nueva Ecija said de Lima should have known that personal attacks were par for the course in politics.

    “We [public servants]will always be criticized. It comes with the job. It’s something that we have to deal with. Criticism is not something new to us lawmakers,” she said.

    ‘Karma’
    Former first gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo also weighed in on the controversy, getting back at de Lima, who was Justice secretary under the previous Aquino administration, for hounding him and his wife, former President and now Pampanga Rep. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

    “Senator de Lima complained that what President Duterte did to her was ‘very foul.’ How about when you violated [President Arroyo’s] human rights by not allowing her to leave? You willfully disobeyed [the Supreme Court]. Wasn’t that ‘very foul’ also?” he said in a text message to reporters.

    “How about when you said I escaped when I left for Hong Kong? You said flight is proof of guilt. Although the CCTV showed I went through the regular process, you never apologized. And I came back. Wasn’t that ‘very foul’ also?” he added.

    “Now that the shoe is on the other foot, how does karma feel?”

    Duterte: ‘Your life is an open book’
    In Cotabato City on Thursday, the President showed no signs of backing down and told de Lima that as a public official, “your life is an open book.”

    “It’s true, she was caught, imagine she took her oath to the public … taking in your driver as paramour?” he told reporters.

    Duterte said it was not he, but de Lima who went overboard when she accused policemen of carrying out extra-judicial killings.

    “Look, the police are dying, why is she speaking without evidence?” he said in Filipino.

    Asked if he had a witness against the senator, Duterte answered: “Secret.”

    Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said de Lima should answer the President’s accusations.

    “The question that the good senator should respond to is: Is the information given by President Duterte on her true or not? In her press conference she called she did not deny nor refute the information. Character assassination predicates the adverse information on the conduct of a person as being false,” Panelo said in a statement.

    WITH LLANESCA T. PANTI, CATHERINE S. VALENTE AND JOMAR CANLAS

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    25 Comments

    1. The salary as the head of the Justice Dept must be huge if De Lima can afford to buy a house for the offended wife and a farm for the boytoy husband.
      Where do these government officials get the money to buy their 200 million p homes or to buy several properties and give them away ?

    2. Senador De Lima should first prove wrong the allegation that she received drug money from druglords before she participates in the senate probe on the drug war of PDU30.

      • That’s not how it works in the world outside of the Philippines.
        In the rest of the world the accusers bring the charges and proof of wrongdoing to a court of law and then they have a thing called a trial where the enforcement agencies prove their case or the defendant is found innocent.

    3. Jill Valentine on

      Seems like when an accused public figure used that smokescreen,” I will not even dignify these allegations,” it kind of reveal palpable guilt. If one is accused of a grave moral and legal transgression like what’s being heaped on her,he will try to move heaven and earth to prove them wrong or threaten the accusers with lawsuit for slander,libel and use what other recourse available.

      But the translation of these denials and statements courting public sympathy to mainly to save face is: Maybe true but I don’t have to be shamed publicly. And my affairs are a personal matter.

      But she’s a public official ,the word itself public ,everything you do will be scrutinized and somehow,there will be witnesses around. And the drug-related charges ,she can’t escape that as a lawmaker and expect them to be swept under the rugs.

      It’s maybe time to face the music as she’s very much in hot water.

      • will try to move heaven and earth to prove them wrong or threaten the accusers with lawsuit for slander,libel and use what other recourse available.
        ——————————————-

        One of De Lima’s points is the person who is publicly accusing her is immune from any kind of lawsuit, can’t sue someone for libel or slander if they are the president.

    4. Robredo, you better be careful. Don’t dip your hands in the spat between the two protagonist lest you will earn the ire of our President.

      But if you are daring enough, why not express your concern to Duterte upfront and let us see if you have the guts?

      You were saying, and I quote: ” When we cheapen the discourse to personal attacks, we bring out the worst.” unquote. You should have addressed those sayings to De Lima herself as sort of reminder to her of her actuations in the past during her stint as the Secretary of Justice.

    5. Juan Alphonse DeMaio on

      The Philippine Senate should focus on LAWMAKING or MAKING LAWS, laws that have become useless. BRING BACK THE DEATH PENALTY.

      The senate is becoming an investigative body which is not the function of the legislative body. Of course it goes without saying that the NBI, and the PNP were inutile and incapable of doing their mandated roles in the Philippine justice system.

      • the senate is becoming an investigative body which is not the function
        ——————————————————

        And they use those investigations to go after their political foes or cover up for their party allies.

        Duterte should get rid of the senate and house as they have contributed nothing to the country, enriching themselves and their families is their only function.

    6. The Great Defiant on

      don’t ask me a bout my lover driver and his mansion….
      don’t ask me about if I protect the drug lord…
      don’t ask me if drugs is being cooked, the pools, the drug lord living like kings inside bilibid…
      because they are all my family, my friends and my love….
      — DE5

      isn’t it the same statement from Poe when her son buys a 1 million pesos worth of nike shoes?…

    7. Debbie prejoles on

      Hindi pala natutulog ang Dios!Grabe ang pinaggagawa nga mga Yellows nung sila pa ang nakaupo sa pwesto grabeng pag-aabuso s kapangyarihan na akala moy diyos,pati pera na tulong sana s yolanda victims ginamit s pansariling kapakanan.Si Aling Dinky kaya asan na?Baka nagtatago nagpaplastic surgery na dahil alam nya n sya ang isusunod.God is watching the Philippines..

    8. Reading through the words she had prepared for her speech, it all went to boomerang back to her such that it left her with no defense for her herself, that being said it was just a few months ago and for the previous six years that she used these tactics to harass and prosecute the political enemies of her commander-in-chief BS Cojuangco-Aquino III. So to say that she is not the enemy of the state, that remains a question, but to say she is the enemy of herself and of her shadowy past then its is affirmative, that she is guilty of the accusations against her and of her person.

    9. In the Bible, adultery generally refers to voluntary sexual relations by a married person—either a man or a woman—with someone other than his or her mate. (Job 24:15; Proverbs 30:20) Adultery is a detestable thing in God’s eyes. In ancient Israel the penalty for it was death. (Leviticus 18:20, 22, 29) Jesus taught that his followers must refrain from adultery.—Matthew 5:27, 28; Luke 18:18-20.

    10. Beleive you owe as an explanation. Do not divert, answer those alegations head-on. Remember, if there’s smoke, there MUST be fire right!

    11. When Delima says she is not the enemy , it’s correct only if she doesn’t accept money from drug pusher or drug lord directly or indirectly. But if she accept then she must be punish bec. No one is above the law of the land.

    12. ernie del rosario on

      Not the enemy you say. But you are consorting with the enemies. The lords of the enemies in fact.

      • If we translate “DE LIMA” in english , it means “OF FIVE” .

        Is it possible that Ma’am Leila was the former Sec. of Justice “OF FIVE generals” named by President Rodrigo R. Duterte ? he he he he he

    13. No, de lima you are the enemy. You are the enemy of the people. Instead of siding with the President and help rid our country of drugs and criminals you sow discord and hate. Yes, you are the enemy.

    14. How can De Lima be loyal while she tried to steal a husband from his wife. It is a crime. It is called adultery . De Lima is not only a bad person but a criminal. The ethics committee must investigate on this matter. I do not want to be govern by a famity destroyer.

    15. Sabi nga pag marami kang utang may time then na dapat kang magbayad. ang buhay parang gulong yan nasaibabaw ka na natatapakan ka pa. Noong panahon ni de Lima di niya pinayagan na makalabas ng bansa si GMA para magpagamot kahit na may supreme court approval. Ngayon nagbabayad lang ng utang si De Lima yan ang KARMA.

    16. “Robredo backs De Lima”

      If VP Leni Robredo is truly sincere in her statement to help the poor people , especially the homeless, she should fully concentrate on her job as head of the Housing and Urban Development given to her by President Rodrigo R. Duterte.
      The head of HUDCC has a gargantuan task to do in order to be successful … meddling in other cases not involving her present position is a waste of time and money to the disadvantage of the people who “voted for her”.

      Ma’am Leni Robredo, gawain na lang ninyo ng buong katapatan ang inyong itinalagang trabajo.
      Masiyado pang maaga para mangampanya sa pagka-Presidente ! Hehehehehehe

    17. hey leelah kalian kaya ninipis ang iyung mukha? Yun ngang “drayber” ng mga eroplano di makapagpagawa ng tatlong bahay na milyones ang halaga, yun pang ordinaryong drayber lang.

      • Dante, ikaw naman Oo, minaliit mo naman kaming mga ordinaryong drayber!! Kya rin nmn nmin n mkpagpagawa ng bahay eh, hindi lang milyones. Yang tinutukoy mong drayber, hindi ordinaryong drayber yan, may ini-screw yan (kaya screw-driver yan)!! Kya nga tiba-tiba yan screw drayber yan!!

    18. Ignacio Balbutin on

      Weather weather lang iyan de lima, kung paano mo pinahirapan si GMA ngayon ay bumabalik na sa iyo. Kaya magtiis at magdusa ka lalo kung maging witness na ang sariling driver mo. Kung ako sa iyo, mag resign ka na lang at alis ka na sa bansa bago ka mapahiya at makalabuso