• Leila de Lima’s meltdown: From righteousness to ignominy



    First read
    Credit at least Sen. Leila de Lima for remembering Shakespeare in her current travails. Under questioning by Winnie Monsod on GMA-7, the senator raised the frailty defense of womanhood. Shakespeare wrote the classic line in Hamlet (Act 1, Scene 1): “ Frailty, thy name is woman.”

    I have been in journalism for a long time, yet I have never heard a female public figure defend herself against public charges and criticism, by ascribing her transgressions to “the frailties of a woman.”

    The women of this country, which has twice installed a woman in the presidency, will not be pleased. De Lima does not strengthen her case, but weakens it. This is why I say the senator is in meltdown.

    Cambridge dictionary defines “meltdown,” as a “dangerous situation in a nuclear power station when the material used for power becomes very hot and is likely to explode. The term is also used informally in politics to denote “a sudden disastrous failure with potential for widespread harm.”

    I apply the term advisedly to the embarrassing career of Senator de Lima, who has hurtled from the heights of political power to the depths of political scandal and possible disgrace, and could sink even lower to penal detention.

    Spanning three administrations
    De Lima, or D5 as she is called in journalese (the other personage accorded numerical distinction is DU30), commands public attention because her career now spans three administrations (those of Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, Benigno Aquino III, and Rodrigo Duterte). She has served in highly sensitive and powerful positions in government, and has figured prominently in major public controversies.

    Under President Arroyo, she got her first big government assignment on being appointed chairman of the Philippine Commission on Human rights (PCHR).

    President Aquino named her as his secretary of justice upon accession to office in 2010. He designated her as the enforcer of tuwid na daan (straight path), to stand atop the criminal justice system, preach rectitude and the rule of law, and file cases against political enemies, starting with her former boss, President Arroyo, and former chief justice Renato Corona and leaders of the opposition.

    But now, it is turning out from the record that this hammer against wrongdoing in government permitted the corruption of the national penal system and the systematic administration of selective justice. And on the side, the lady carried on an affair with her married driver, a DOJ employee, who is suspected by justice prosecutors as being her bagman for payoffs from drug lords.

    Bizarre and perplexing record
    It is bizarre and perplexing that despite being ethically challenged, D5 was persistently identified with the affirmation and defense of rights and right conduct in government. And yet she seems almost certain now to be remembered for crossing the line between right and wrong.

    As the hammer for the straight path, she will be remembered as being as crooked as the felons and grafters convicted of crime and corruption.

    As the loudest critic of the drug war of President Duterte and extra-judicial killings (EJKs), many criticize her for exacerbating the problem by leading astray the Senate committee inquiry, and putting up dubious witnesses.

    Playing the gender card
    To fight off the charges against her, De Lima has assiduously styled herself as a female victim of a macho president. But oddly, women do not sympathize at all with her plight. They are more embarrassed by the expose of her adultery and sexual adventurism.

    In choosing Winnie Monsod’s “bawal ang Pasaway” as her vehicle for public confession, she unwittingly painted herself as a pasaway, a transgressor. Perhaps even an outlaw?
    The spectacle of people in power
    Disconnecting principles from their sexual behavior is an old, old story in Philippine politics.

    What D5 highights is the fact that women can do it, too. It is not a defense to say that “men do this all the time.” The public doesn’t buy this line at all. It is still shocked by the sight of a woman politician as transgressor.

    Until her public admission, De Lima pointedly never denied that she had a relationship with Dayan.

    In the Monsod interview, De Lima said Dayan getting drug money using her name without her permission is “within the realm of possibilities,” but the administration is not dealing only with possibilities. They are seriously building a case against her.

    Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre and president Duterte believe that De Lima’s adulterous affair and corruption are umbilically linked

    The President has said that he is in possession of wiretaps and ATM records showing that the former driver-bodyguard of Sen. Leila de Lima transacted with drug syndicates at New Bilibid when she was Justice secretary. The driver-bodyguard collected money from drug traders for de Lima’s senatorial campaign, and could not have acted without her knowledge.

    Talking like the prosecutor that he once was, Duterte says: “What is really crucial here is that because of her [romantic]relationship with her driver which I termed ‘immoral’ because the driver has a family and wife, that connection gave rise to the corruption of what was happening inside the national penitentiary. That is why the inmates had special privileges.”

    Duterte has also disclosed that an unnamed foreign country provided the wiretaps. “Even the ATM (automated teller machine) and the calls emanating from Muntinlupa to her driver,” he said.

    The President conceded that the recordings are inadmissible as evidence in court, but said he would confront De Lima with these if given the chance.

    DU30 will tell D5: “De Lima, I was listening to you. If she will face me, just the two of us, I will tell her: ‘Explain to me your immorality and explain to me your connection to the drug deal.’ ”

    De Lima, speak for yourself
    In defense against the controversies swirling over her head, De Lima cites doggedly her alleged reputation and record as a public official.

    She declares: “This is my answer: My record as a public official first as CHR chair and next as secretary of Justice, speaks for itself. My reputation has been untarnished until now when it’s being unfairly and unjustly besmirched by all of these fabricated lies about my alleged involvement in the drug trade.”

    Oddly, she concedes that her reputation is tarnished now.

    One woman reader and friend underscored for me the extent of De Lima’s predicament today. She says, “De lima, speak for yourself. Don’t drag all womanhood into your tale of shame.”

    The women’s-rights party-list group Gabriela has also slammed De Lima. On its Facebook page, the organization said:

    “So-called ‘frailties of women,’ [or]even [of]men or any gender for that matter, can never be cited as a defense for crimes, be it adultery, abuse of authority by a public official or drug trafficking. [They] should not be used, especially by one who holds a position of power like Senator Leila de Lima, as an excuse from criminal accountability or to paint herself as a victim.”

    It seems D5 must fight her battles alone.



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    1. Frailty is u used d will of ur heart & ur flesh.. i thot u’re a dignified educated strong woman.. wla ka rn palang COMMON SENSE in short bobah k rn pla!! Be WISE yan ang kulang sau!!

    2. Inherently sinful as we are all too that we easily recognize the sin manifestations, say corruption and immorality. But Delima is a high government figure thus the grand show of her public service ‘ speaking of itself’ and personal intriques media could not help but expose. Her defense mechanisms points to Duterte’s more EJKs and citing woman frailty. Certainly, either righteousness or sinfulness is not defined relatively. Indeed we are more thick-skinned people here in a very religious country having a government of somewhat a democracy!

    3. There are very few countries that see adultery as a criminal offence. Its only religious nuts who see that. The philippines doesnt have divorce & that causes huge problems when it shouldnt. One day all you religious fools will be gone & the world will be a better place for it. Not having divorce is a way of controlling the masses. Most normal people when their marriage breaks down separate & eventually meet another party & no one says anything. Its only an offence if someone calls attention to it.
      I think you should all get over it, she was in a relationship with just 1 man for many years so its not like she was sleeping around with every tom dick or harry.
      Now if she was involved in drugs money thats a different story & we need evidence on that.

      • Dusty, how do you know that the Lady slept with only one gentleman ?

        Is it not possible that the Lady have DUSTED more DUST behind her closet that one would ever know ?

      • Actually it appears she has had a string of men, Dayan being apparently just the first one with drug connections. She apparently dumped him at some point, then had relations with her NEXT guy who also inherited Dayan’s drug connections. That was made apparent because the convicts mentioned a scandal video of her and another guy. This was all taken up in the hearing in congress, and lends more credence to the allegation that she was the one calling all the shots.

    4. What would Chief Justice Sereno and Ombudsman Morales say about the phrase “FRAILTIES OF WOMEN ” as defense of Senator De Lima against her IMMORALITY ?

      How about Senator Hontiveroz and other LADY MEMBERS OF CONGRESS…what do you think ?

      Basing from the statement of Senator De Lima which is plural in form … “FRAILTIES OF WOMEN” ,
      Do you have your own FRAILTIES too ?

    5. Has D5 a son??…cause if she has her son must come to her rescue. Shame has befallen to the D5 clan and only the bloodletting of her son can purify the name of their clan..otherwise the stigma of D5 clan will be forever etched in the annals of RP…et al Aquino, Abad…….

    6. Hypocricy rules. The emphasis on her morality “as a woman” as distinct from that of a man presumably, is ludicrous. Of course if adultary disqualified men in the congress and Senate from their positions, the benches would be very bare! The Taliban will be proud of you all.
      PS I am not a supporter of D5. I would like to see her prosecuted for graft if the evidence is there.

    7. Men of the Sea have an old saying, “A fish is really caught by its mouth.” Tsk tsk tsk, and the whole world starts to crumble around her…..ain’t reality and the truth a bitch!

    8. Her own allies starting from the Liberal Party hypocrites down to the feminazis refuse to touch her because she personifies the quality that they know most distinguishes the yellow tribe today: loathsome. May their tribe disappear, permanently.

    9. Reminds me of that episode in the preaching years of Jesus Christ, a scene which highlighted a woman caught in adultery. In the middle of the circle of accusers Jesus wrote with his finger something on the ground after telling the crowd, “Let anyone among you who has not sinned throw the first stone at her.” The Bible says that after everyone has left but the accused woman Jesus asked, “No one stoned you?… Go, and sin no more.” Explaining her “fall” as human frailty could both be a recourse to the umbrella of weakness that befalls (everyone) human, or an honest confession of guilt more personal and moral than political. The problem arises when people (who may be prone, too, to moral guilt) start to equate this (level) with the political (or governance sphere). Kind of creating confusion among the public.

      • Hypocrisy ? YES !!!
        But so long as the man is not admitting anything and never caught in the act with a VIDEO , there is no case against him !!!

        C’est la vie mon ami !!!
        Men were born polygamous , they say !
        he he he he he he

    10. Ano nman kya mssbi ng mga pari at madre dito sa issue n to. Pinaglaruan lng cla ni D5, nkita lng n lumuhod s simbahan kinmapihan n kaagad.

    11. Theda Pilar-Pineda on

      What if my frailty is to slap people like her, that’s not considered against the law, right? Power drunk therefore, she will continue to be powerfully put to shame!

    12. frailty? nah. arrogance is more like it. she is self-righteous, arrogant, greedy and corrupt. why is she still roaming free? she should be in jail or executed.

    13. All of Delima’s credibility had been flushed down the sewer, by herself no less…. I won’t and nobody should feel sorry for her, she did all these that she is being accused of herself. The best thing for her is to disappear into a solitary existence and not to be heard of ever again. She can devote the rest of her life alone praying to atone for her sins. She should not be allowed to mingle with anyone, lest she will corrupt them as well.

      It would ironic if she will eventually be imprisoned at the Bilibid…. It would be like returning to her old stomping grounds….. The poor woman, my heart bleeds. Not!

    14. Exactly how many of the males in congress and government positions have girlfriends on the side ?
      Probably most of them but that doesn’t seem to bother them as they condemn De Lima.

      The level of hypocrisy is amazing.

      Why don’t they go after the pork barrel thieves with the same vigor ? is it because most of them are thieves ?

      • I agree however she admitted it and that was her biggest mistake. She’s the one on trial not the other the rest of the male dominated senate.

      • Thinking Filipino on

        @FYI noynoy is that you? I’m sorry but nobody believes in your daang matuwid slogan anymore. You talk about pork barrel but you only persecute your political enemies and protect your own. How many yellow did you investigate in the PDAF/DAP scam? none, am I right? Let’s face it a lot of our politicians have mistresses on the side but definitely the don’t admit to it publicly and blame frailties for their lack of common sense. I wonder how gabriela feels right now knowing that their cause was just exploited by your beloved female senator.

      • Tell that to carpio morales. She should not be selective instead of prioritizing Bato`s trip to Las Vegas, maybe feeling envy that Pacquiao didnt invite her. How about de lima`s case, why no action? Did Morales also enjoyed the bounty from drugs income of de lima?

      • It’s different because D5’s BF is a suspected criminal. While those idiot politician’s GFs are just plain golddiggers.

      • It’s not the act itself that you people object to it’s someone telling the truth that you can’t get past.

        Duterte’s information is not admissible in court since it was obtained illegally but that didn’t stop him from calling a media gathering to pass on information that was illegally obtained.

        By Filipino logic is they don’t mind if all the males in congress have girlfriends on the side as long as they don’t admit it.
        Steal billions from the pork barrel fund, don’t admit it and get reelected.

        That explains why Filipino’s can’t admit they were wrong no matter what so telling the truth in the Philippines is the immoral act that must be punished.

        No wonder the Philippines is world ranked at the bottom of everything.

    15. D5 is standing up to a man (du30) who is responsible for KILLING thousands of Filipinos. You make remarks that because she got some side action that her case is weakened? Really? Please you think that du30 was strayed from the monogamous path? One is a personal sin the other is a sin against humanity…

      • ..And her standing up to DU30 does not clear her from being guilty of what was accused of her. Furthermore, these allegations of DU30 was raised while he is working for the country whereas D5 was and has always been working to profit from her allies or to save her own hide. One is ambiguously altruistic and the other is patently selfish. Was that the point you wanted to put across?

      • Her illicit affair with her driver is a personal matter, yes, but when that relationship gave her driver access to illegal drug trading in the NBP ( it is hard to believe she is not aware of), which obviously destroyed many, drug users and their families plus the victims of these drug users, THAT IS A SIN AGAINST HUMANITY!

      • Can you prove that Duterte killed thousands of Filipinos? because Delima says so isn’t it? You cannot prove it. Duterte exposed Delima during one among his speeches that Delima has special relationship with her driver-bodyguard Dayan but Delima immediately denied it during those days until interviewed on Mareng Winnie Monsod’s TV program. There were so many anti-Duterte who said that the president was only trying to destroy Delima with political harassment. The president has been vindicated on his allegations before against Delima. Be reasonable and do not accused someone of crime which you cannot prove.

      • @ ERIC
        And how many lives do you think have been corrupted, killed and destroyed by the proliferation of drugs in the country compared to the KILLINGS that you ascribe to Duterte, aber? Which of them is a sin against humanity? Isip-isip din, pag may time.