DAVAO City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on Friday took a swipe at Justice Secretary Leila de Lima for reportedly labelling him as an “undemocratic leader” for his tough stance against criminality in his city.
In his speech during the 17th anniversary celebration of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) in Camp Aguinaldo in Quezon City, Duterte could not contain his anger toward the Justice secretary whom he called as “gaga [stupid].”
“Akala ng gaga nag-uutos akong magpapatay, stupid… Pareho man kami ng eskuwelahan niya (She thinks that I order the killing of criminals .. we went to the same school],” the mayor said.
De Lima and Duterte both graduated from the San Beda College of Law in Manila. Duterte’s daughter, Sara, was de Lima’s student.
The two Bedans have been exchanging tirades in public after the mayor allegedly admitted his links to the infamous Davao Death Squad that was suspected to be behind the spate of summary executions in the city.
In the same speech, Duterte cautioned de Lima for zeroing in on him, warning that he, too, has “the goods” on the Justice secretary.
“De Lima has something on me. Bakit, wala ako? Mas grabe itong akin. Iiyak siya dito [Mine’s more shocking, she’ll cry when this comes out],” he said.
De Lima previously claimed that the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has in its custody a witness who could prove that it was Duterte who ordered the killing of criminals in his city and that he is, indeed, the leader of the death squad.
Although Duterte openly admitted that he “has no compassion for criminals,” he clarified that he never ordered the killing of anyone, at least by name.
“I never ever ordered the killing of a person by name,” the mayor pointed out.
Duterte recalled that when he was called to a Senate hearing last year on the issue of rice smuggling where he threatened to “kill” a known rice smuggler in his city, de Lima readily accused him of being “uncivilized.”
“She accused me of being uncivilized… These are people who committed crimes against humanity,” he bewailed.
Duterte also criticized de Lima for mishandling the country’s justice system, alleging that she could be charged for dereliction of duty for meddling with matters outside her turf.
He noted issues involving high-profile inmates at the New Bilibid Prisons in Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila) that is directly under the supervision and control of the Justice secretary.
“Doon nagluluto sila ng shabu. Pinapataba pa niya. Binibigyan ng negosyo at pera [They concoct methamphetamine in jail. She fattens them and are given business and money],” Duterte said.
Several high-profile inmates were previously found to be living luxuriously inside the prison facility with at least one found to be in possession of a cache of high-powered firearms and a huge amount of cash.
Duterte said drug lords continue their trade while inside prison, something which, he added, he cannot condone in his own turf.