PRESIDENT Rodrigo Duterte stepped up his personal attacks against Sen. Leila de Lima on Wednesday, alleging that the latter’s “sex escapades” led her to commit “serious violations of law.”
Speaking to reporters, Duterte slammed the former Justice secretary for “pretending” to be a crusader for justice.
“What is really sad for this country, here is a woman posturing [as a]crusader for good government but [she cannot stop her immorality],” Duterte said in a news conference after attending the wake of a police officer in Taytay, Rizal.
“Her sex escapade led her to commit several serious violations of law,” the President added.
On Wednesday, de Lima, a leading critic of Duterte’s war on drugs, branded as an “absolute lie” the allegations made by Duterte on Tuesday that she was among the highest officials in a “matrix” of personalities involved in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.
“I say it again, those accusations against my alleged drug links are complete falsehoods and absolute lies,” de Lima told reporters.
De Lima said she was advised by her family and close friends not to talk about the issue anymore, because it seemed there would be no end to it.
Duterte indeed had new details against the lawmaker.
He claimed de Lima has a new boyfriend named Warren, who is into motorcycles.
“Ngayon, may bago siya [She has now a new one]. The first name is Warren,” Duterte said, adding that his source of information was former Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino, who was edged out by de Lima in the May senatorial elections.
Duterte however noted that de Lima’s marriage had been legally annulled, just like his marriage with his wife, Elizabeth Zimmerman.
The President himself has admitted to having multiple girlfriends.
‘On the take’?
Duterte claimed de Lima was investigating suspected extrajudicial killings because her wrongdoings had been revealed.
“De Lima is mad because I caught her. Everything came out, even her activities in bed. That’s not photoshopped. The man wanted to do it and she agreed because she fell in love,” Duterte said, alluding to a sex video allegedly with de Lima that had made the rounds of social media.
Duterte reiterated that he would soon release a “drug matrix” showing de Lima’s role in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.
Asked whether de Lima had direct involvement in illegal drugs, Duterte said it was impossible that she did not know anything about it.
“She was on the take. She could have not allowed those things to happen for nothing. You must be kidding,” the President said.
Duterte said de Lima’s former driver Ronnie Dayan, also her alleged former boyfriend, was her connection to the drug syndicates inside the prison.
He pointed out that high-profile inmates enjoyed various luxuries when de Lima was Justice secretary.
“She facilitated everything for money, she was not into buying drugs,” the President said
The supposed “drug matrix” also shows the alleged involvement of a former Justice official, Francisco Baraan 3rd, a governor, and police superintendents, he said.
Four witnesses vs de Lima
The Department of Justice said four witnesses will testify against de Lima and link her to illegal drugs.
Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre 2nd said the witnesses included inmates, jail guards, a bagman of a drug lord, and some of de Lima’s friends.
But it would be “only by implication.”
“Because of the accusation that it was the driver collecting money, people do not believe that he was doing it without the knowledge of the senator,” Aguirre said.
Aguirre said de Lima’s former driver and alleged ex-lover, Dayan, was mentioned by the witnesses.
“He (Dayan) collects drug money from high-profile drug lords,” Aguirre said.
WITH JOMAR CANLAS