• Leila de Lima: A scandal who makes Filipinos squirm



    First Read
    IN addition to being on the frying pan for imminent arrest, Senator Leila de Lima has so many ambitious political projects, I think I could be accused of partisanship if I do not take note of her crusade. So here goes.

    The senator’s latest undertakings are intriguing, even epic in scope.

    First, she has asked the Cabinet of President Duterte to declare him unfit to serve as President, and exercise an obscure provision in the Constitution to replace him.

    Second, she is calling on the Filipino people to oust DU30 as President through people power, a mass action made fresh by the fact that the country will be marking the 31st anniversary of the revolt at EDSA (Epifanio de los Santos Avenue) that brought down the government of President Ferdinand Marcos in February 1986.

    Third, De Lima is selling herself as a victim, the first political prisoner of the Duterte government. She warns of her becoming a victim of extra-judicial killing once she is jailed.

    Knowing our recent history and the dysfunctions of our public life, I can see how some people and groups might find these projects worthy of study or even support.

    But with De Lima as proponent, what chances do they have of ever getting off the ground?

    Alas, the chances are zilch. De Lima will more likely dissuade, rather than inspire, people to undertake these projects.

    Her brand is scandal
    No matter how many adjectives she loads on her Duterte brief (“sociopath serial killer,” “mentally unfit,” etc.) and her credentials (“she is not alone”), the projects will flounder from the sheer weight of her orotund and shaky reputation.

    De Lima is an unusual politician who makes Filipinos squirm, because of the way she has packed into her career scandal, controversy, corruption, and abuse of power.

    People remember her for a litany of headline-grabbing transgressions: 1) her adulterous affairs with subordinates and aides while serving as justice secretary, which were exposed in a congressional inquiry; 2) her alleged coddling of the illegal drug trade inside the national penitentiary and her alleged acceptance of bribes from drug lords, in order to finance her Senate campaign; 3) her implementation of a policy of selective justice against political opponents of former President Benigno Aquino III; and 4)her abuse of the powers of the justice secretary to enforce the detention of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the bidding of Aquino.

    Few people in public office have attracted scandal so relentlessly as De Lima has. It is as if her brand is scandal. not public service.

    Trillanes as partner in notoriety
    De Lima is lucky that Senator Antonio Trillanes is serving in the Senate at the same time that she does. Otherwise, she will be attracting all the negativity all by herself. The former coup-plotter turned senator is a magnet for brickbats.

    While De lima hurls the political bombs against DU30, Trillanes moves behind the scenes to recruit officers and soldiers who will join the planned coup.

    Last Sunday, at a gathering of relatives and friends, our conversation drifted to the subject of Senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes. One of us asked the group: who will get your vote, if you have to choose between them? Who is more wicked and embarrassing? Everyone thought it is cruel and barbarous to be made to choose between them.

    To my surprise, many of the women do not like Leila one bit; they have no sympathy for her ordeal; they feel she should suffer what former President Arroyo endured in detention.

    With respect to Trillanes, and his demand that President Duterte disclose his bank account, everyone is repelled by him. The consensus feeling is that people will remember “sundalong kanin” (rice soldier) more than they will remember DU30’s alleged P2-billion deposits.

    The entire group felt that the Senate would be better off without the two senators. The public will be happiest, if they are both thrown in jail, starting with De Lima, who is facing charges in court.

    What about their joint effort to get Edgar Matobato and Arthur Lascañas to testify about the Davao Death Squad (DDS) and against Duterte in the Senate? Is this not public service?

    Most in the gathering believe that the Lascañas’ retraction was timed to forestall De Lima’s imminent arrest and incarceration. She is desperate. How much did De Lima and Trillanes bribe the police officer to retract his earlier testimony in the Senate?

    Many believe this is all part of the Yellow fantasy/conspiracy to organize the public and the military to stage a people power revolt on February 25 to topple Duterte.

    The Yellows are indignant that the EDSA commemoration has gone indoors to Camp Aguinaldo.

    The idea of calling on the cabinet to force Duterte out of office is based on a constitutional provision that empowers a majority of the Cabinet to force the President to step down by ruling that he is mentally incapacitated.

    The Yellows tried this scheme during the administration of President Arroyo. The so-called Hyatt 10 tried to stage a “constitutional coup” by demanding Arroyo’s resignation and tendering their resignation. This was squarely blunted. Arroyo fired them all.

    People power in parody?
    Leaders, it has been said, are lucky or unlucky depending on the kind of enemies and opponents they generate during their time of rule.

    I cannot judge yet whether DU30 is fortunate to have the kind of opponents he has today. Sometimes, I think he is lucky to have the Liberals and the Aquinos as the principal force opposing him. Their confusion almost looks like support.

    With De Lima and Trillanes as the top strategists of destabilization, DU30 might laugh.

    The Catholic laity may be something else. Having the Catholic bishops and the parishes arrayed against the President can hardly be a blessing.

    The Yellow movement made a strategic mistake in adopting De Lima as its spearhead and moving force. Did anyone hear her call for the people to revolt? Did the Duterte Cabinet even notice their opportunity?

    Methinks EDSA will be recalled in parody instead of recreated on Saturday.



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    1. The LP oozes with bundles of money. I saw hundreds of cars during their rallies. yes, LP has lots of moolah…. someone even started the “NASAAN ANG PANGULO?” when then Pres Noynoy was missing during the Mamasapano carnage. Go ask Joyce Ramirez…..

    2. What Leila de Lima is doing is just and right. Even drug addicts have a right to be heard not shot to death.

      Duterte is in many ways like a drug pusher or drug addict. He does not care about the rule of law. He does not have compassion for others – all he wants is his way in the name of cleaning the country of narcotics. But instead he is wiping out the lives of innocent people – thousands have died under false accusations and the rich/wealthy drug pushers go unpunished.

      Many of the accusations against De Lima are false and fabricated so the people will not see the immorality (as one commentator said earlier) and lies of Duterte.

      Let us voice our support of Leila de Lima who is being assaulted by the number one addict in the Philippines
      Duterte or is DuDIRTY

      • Leeo Dreamcatcher on

        Mr. Berlitz, just and right? in what way?
        Is it just and right for protecting the drug lords and join them for becoming rich and use her power to hide those doings?
        Just and right? that the criminals are free to kill, rape, kidnap and push drugs to the people because we don’t give importance in the implementation of the law.
        Just and right? that the victims was not given the chance to live during the time they were rape and killed after the rape, killed because the family of the victims of kidnapping cannot give the kidnappers the amount they needed, did they give the victims a chance pleading the suspect not to kill them?
        Fabricated accusations? that Senator De Lima herself admitted in one of her interviews with Munsod that she had an affair with her driver who was married with children. She has the guts to do that knowing that she was a lawyer? isn’t it immoral?

        Just hope and pray that none of your family will be a victims of those doings so you won’t eat what you preach. Because for sure you will run to the police and ask help to the government for justice and demand that the suspect will be given no chances for what they will do.

        We rather have a President who kills for the sake and safety of the innocent people than to have a President who let innocent people get killed and not do anything at all just like Aquino.


      • Thousands of drug addicts and pushers surrendered to the PNP, do you think the gov’t didn’t hear them? Duterte’s compassion for the victims of drug addicts fuels his fury to strike fear upon criminals, you realized that? And mind you he was implementing the law of the land and not the law that LP wants. By mere socializing with drug lords in the Bilibid, De Lima should be fired from gov’t long ago

      • A cry in the wilderness… time to move on.. the philippine ship has sailed on to independence from oligarchy and greed. People have awoken from their nightmare.

    3. What Leila de Lima is doing is just and right. Even drug addicts have a right to be heard not shot to death.

      Duterte is in many ways like a drug pusher or drug addict. He does not care about the rule of law. He does not have compassion for others – all he wants is his way in the name of cleaning the country of narcotics. But instead he is wiping out the lives of innocent people – thousands have died under false accusations and the rich/wealthy drug pushers go unpunished.

      Many of the accusations against De Lima are false and fabricated so the people will not see the immorality (as one commentator said earlier) and lies of Duterte.

      Let us voice our support of Leila de Lima who is being assaulted by the number one addict in the Philippines Duterte or DuDIRTY

    4. Let Delimaw squirms inside the prison cell! It’s payback time for her to millions who suffers because of Shabu and other illegal drugs she allowed to prolifirate! There is no turning back now! Abnoy,Trollanes, Doinky, Piggy, Mr. Noted, Budgetbad, Imorales, etc. should all be next!

    5. HAHA, yellow tactics no longer work plus the fact the CBCP has lost their grip to majority of catholics because of their false teachings and beliefs

    6. I admire Yen’s wisdom on this article, Man keep on writing for you have un-biased views and ideas.

    7. The Great Defiant on

      LP, Oligarchs were the biggest stumbling block for this country to progress.
      unless we put them all behind bars…then we can move on…
      meanwhile, let us all squirm with their presence.

      Federalism might work for us.

    8. Nancy Rodriguez on

      De Lima means well. We overlook Duterte’s immoral behavior and speech. Would you rather have a murderer as a President or a lady who is advocating for human respect? I and my friends, Filipinas and Filipinos, would vote for Ms. De Lima for the good of our country.

      • Lady? Anyone confessing to an adulterous affair can hardly be called a lady. She is a harlot, and that her sexual appetite led to the thriving drug trade in Bilibid.

        Good for our country? Since when is shabu ever good for the country? Have you ever seen a shabu addict in your life? Once they’re in a high, all decency and all self-control goes out the window. What’s worse, shabu (also called meth) addicts can never reach complete rehabilitation. Leila De Lima should hang for allowing the proliferation of drugs to be sold to addicts.

        Get your head out of your dream world, millennial.

      • and you would not care if under her watch the drug problem escalated and almost made the country a narco state or you do not believe that the country has a drug problem? just saying

      • madam, ms d5 is errr..hmmm…aahh..ah ok nevermind.. i can’t think for the right words for her. as my grannies said, “if you can’t say a nice word, or words for someone, better say nothing”. yup she is in my mind…

      • How can De5 advocate for human respect when she herself was a prime example for selective justice when she was DOJ sec. and openly admitted having an affair with a married man? Isn’t that Immoral? She is already facing charges in court while Du30 was never charged for murder even when De5 was head of the Commission on Human Rights and DOJ Sec. Du30 was accused many times but not charged in court. I agree with Sen. Gordon’s opinion that if the Du30 opponents really have strong evidence, they should file charges right away in court and not use the Senate for media mileage.

      • C’mon, Nancy you’re joking aren’t you? You speak of Pres. Duterte’s immoral behavior and manner of speech and compare that with a lady who admits in public her immoral relationships with a married man and calls her an advocate for human respect?

    9. “Methinks EDSA will be recalled in parody instead of recreated on Saturday.” It will not be a historical event but a HYSTERICAL insistence of a few yellow stragglers that EDSA did something good for the country when in fact it sunk the country deeper into misery, criminality and corruption over the past 30+ years. Sana I will say pitiful rin naman sila but my squirming fit overpowers it.

    10. Leodegardo M. Pruna on

      The Catholic Bishops would be better off if they keep their silence and instead focus on moral values and faith. To engage in a political and worldly battle would surely adversely affect the followings of the church. Let God be first, the yellows of Cory and P-Noy thrown in the garbaget. God bless the Philippines.

    11. NO MORE EDSA its bullshit, its a manipulation from the past Cory Aquino & FVR / Enrile. Its fake & its horrendous. Todays’ people are more careful & social media connected, prone to get it correct from genuine versus fake. We have learn a lot from dirty authorities.

      D5 & TRILLANES are the most disgusting senator of all time. Its really disturbing in the senate when this two open their mouth.

      If there is a way to get rid of this two morons (actually there are more member with satanic stance lurking in the corner of senate house), the Philippine can be much better & better.

      In fact Mr Macabenta, had stand still to his paragraphs. Highlighting D5 & TRILLANES are the one whose not suppose within the senate. These two are weeds.

    12. Never mind those intrigues what is important are the results. Is the cuntry better now than before DU30? Definitely! The country is moving forward where we should be. This administration is doing a great job. We should all hate poverty and lawlessness.

    13. It seems Filipino morality has changed a lot. A justice secretary f——g her driver did not illicit condemnation or even reaction from religious people. Why, she even joined the group in their march for peace.

    14. Good work Yen! I could just imagine the frustrations of the “Yellows” on their difficulty getting the number of supporters they want to topple DU30. You have put into words the correct descriptions of Delima that we the super majority of the Filipinos have been describing her in our get-togethers.

    15. Thanks Yen. May I now add the word “SQUIRMOUS” (meaning one who makes you squirm) among my vocabulary of Delimisms ? I gained one from Ninez too and it is VIRAGO. OK ba ?

    16. Yen you said it all. “De Lima is an unusual politician who makes Filipinos squirm, because of the way she has packed into her career scandal, controversy, corruption, and abuse of power.” I can only add, well written.

      • Amen. All along I though the word “politician” just by itself itself is derogatory enough but a squirmous politician tag is something for the “Believe It Or Not” books.

    17. Noong panahon ng sira-ulong aquino, ang bilis nilang magpabilanggo ng mga hindi nila kaalyado sa pulitika at katarantaduhan.

      Ngayon, kahit halos nalulunod na sa dami ng ebidensiya, malaya pa rin. Examples- de lima, aquino, abad, alcala, drilon, trillanes.

      Hoy, gising – DU30, Sec. Aquirre! Ilagay na sa barko ang mga yan. Dalhin sa gitna ng Pacific Ocean sa may bandang Palanan, Isabela.

      Isama rin sina morales, pulido-tan at julia abad-bacay.

      Bilisan! Huwag usad-pagong!!!

    18. Thank you for the article. For the past months, our conversations among friends and family have also focused on Senators Delima and Trillanes, with most amongst our group expressing impatience, disgust and utter disbelief at their arrogance and audacity. Add to that, disappointment with the Philippine Congress and Senate body for making us listen to a long, protracted hearing, only to come up with a lame “all in aid of legislation” statement without a firm recommendation on how to resolve the case. Also add to that, despite the election being long over, is the LP party’s and the Catholic laity’s, continued actions to disrupt the government (are they immune to the sentiments of majority of the populace?) And… the biggest nuisance of all, Senator Trillanes, who, intellectually, did not impress very much compared to others during the hearings. Both Delima and Trillanes have been very active again lately, with the latest salvo from Trillanes being the demand for President Duterte to disclose his bank account information, and the re-appearance of Lascanas with the aim of testifying again in the Senate to recant his previous testimony given under oath. Woebegone to the Philippines if they are allowed to succeed. I hope there are enough smart people, with real desire to better the lot of the Filipino people, who will do their utmost to stop them because everyone’s patience is almost at breaking point. It’s a difficult challenge because the lure of money and power is very corrupting.

    19. You sum it all Mr. Makabenta, this is the only news paper that report the truth. I hope this will stay that way. Some of our journalist are for sale.

    20. I will just comment on one part of this writing. Trillanes said du30 had billions in bank accounts, du30 said he would open said bank accounts. Has he & if so what was in them, if not why not. Remember when we had chief justice corona, he had money hidden in a bank account that he couldnt account for. How long did it take him to let the authorities look into it. He didnt want them to because he knew he was in deep. Well isnt du30 doing exactly the same. Open your accounts & show what money you have, show trillanes is lying or wrong & that you are truthing. Hurry up & open them, in fact every government offical should sign waivers so all of their accounts whatever they are can be looked into by authorities. It make it harder for the thieves to hide their ill gotten monies

    21. God entrusts our “physical life” unto “ the king, as supreme, or unto governors” (1 Peter 2:13-17, and Romans 13:1-7). It is here that the people are endowed with “God-given wisdom” to choose the kind of leadership having the “topmost sincerity and dedicated political will” to realize this.

      By the way, our “physical life” is what everybody knows this will end in the grave. Who do not cherish “this life” that all of us enjoy since birth. I believe most of us spend our whole energy enjoying it. We do it in many ways and different forms in our wakefulness. And so, can we now apply the saying, “life is what we make it” for we are responsible who the “king or governors” that lead us.

      As to our “spiritual life” that many of us aspire to have with God, never should this influence our political decision for on this aspect God hates human wisdom (Matthew 18:3, Luke 10:21). And so we read:

      1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and will bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent. 20 Where is the wise? where is the scribe? where is the disputer of this world? hath not God made foolish the wisdom of this world? 21 For after that in the wisdom of God the world by wisdom knew not God.

      Does not the foregoing expound the true meaning of the political principle, “the separation of church and state”?

    22. EDSA Rev has waned actually. Starting FVR era. Malacanang-instructed government agencies made hakot to “grace” the EDSA-Ortigas intersection. No traffic consolidated. Vehicles could pass through easily. Did FVR made it to the date six times (as Pres)? Nope. Ask him. Why do I know? The agency I used to work with put up an exhibit with a customer desk at POEA for a week during this time of each year. Why this fuss now? Destabilization. Now, shall we not ask de Lima, “isn’t selling more and more shabu” which adds and multiplies drug addicts not a “human rights violation”? More than 10 druglord inmates testified to her “asking for campaign fund.” Her Ronnie also said so.

    23. I got a migraine. When will these two clowns be off from the President’s case. When will the Church stop meddling.

      I dream of a perfect Philippines and a unified Philippines. A country moving forward.

      If a Filipino who doesn’t dream this way should he should pack up and migrate.

    24. one wonders why she is still not in jail – her corruption during the previous administration is a serious matter and should be pursued relentlessly.

      • Sorry to say that a lot of crooked people have many supporters because we have more crooked people than the honest ones. Prayers can help and a chain of prayers by honest people will prevail. In my life as a professional,. I have encountered dishonest and proud people. My weapon was prayers and all of the people who made my life challenging got what they deserve . We need to keep praying and stay honest. We cannot carry a dime to our graves when we die even the best clothes that we acqiure in our lifetime, we cannot wear them all.