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MANILA, Philippines – Cases have not been filed against Sen. Leila de Lima for her alleged involvement in illegal drugs but President Duterte is confident that his fiercest critic would land in jail.
Duterte said yesterday De Lima would be pinned down by testimonies of New Bilibid Prison (NBP) inmates who have accused her of receiving money from drug lords.
“Now that she (De Lima) is in trouble, she wants to drag me. She will really go to jail. I’m sure of that because of the testimonial evidence,” the President said during the induction of officers of the Malacañang Press Corps, the Malacañang Cameramen Association and the Presidential Photojournalists Association.
“She will be jailed when everybody says, five (witnesses) could say that they contributed money. So on a national scale… who brought in the narco politics? It is here already.”
Asked if his statement is a go-signal for the justice department to file charges against De Lima, Duterte replied: “Yes, of course.”
“(Cases will be filed) after the investigations are finished. I am sure of my evidence,” he added.
The President said “plenty” of non-bailable cases related to drugs may be filed against the senator, who has been critical of his brutal war on narcotics.
“She’s the one who should be worried. Those are serious charges. She should not adopt a nonchalant attitude about all of these things. I said she opened the portals of narco politics to take hold in the national level,” Duterte said.
De Lima has been accused of receiving millions in drug money to fund her senatorial campaign when she was justice secretary.
In previous speeches, Duterte said De Lima’s affair with her former driver Ronnie Dayan made her violate the law and grant special privileges to drug lords at the NBP.
Last week, some inmates revealed in a House hearing that the NBP became a “little Las Vegas” during De Lima’s stint as justice secretary.
She denied the accusations and claimed that Duterte and his allies are ganging up on her because she launched a probe on the spate of drug-related killings in the country.
De Lima has been a critic of Duterte even before he assumed the presidency. When she was chair of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR), De Lima launched investigations on Duterte’s link to the Davao death squad, a vigilante group blamed for the killing of criminals in the city.
Duterte served as mayor of Davao City for more than 22 years.
Last week, De Lima was ousted by the Senate as justice committee chair due to her supposed bias against Duterte.
The committee had launched an inquiry on the killings of suspected drug personalities.
‘Her sexuality put her down’
Duterte said De Lima has no one to blame for allegations against her but herself.
“She was the one who started it. You’re all spectators who go down national, live, where it was evolving in the days that passed,” the President said.
“Lumaki ang ulo niya (It went to her head). When she was chairman of the (Commission on) Human Rights, somebody might have told her that she can become a president or senator. You know, the ambition was good but her sexuality put her down.”
Duterte said De Lima would be “finished” once intimate videos of her surface.
“I’d ask her ‘Miss de Lima, I’ve kind of a blurred, vague memory of your persona… I’m establishing the character of you. Is this you pumping? So the next question will be drugs,” he said.
“You know, every time I view the video, I lose my appetite.”
Duterte said De Lima need not worry about having affairs once she is in prison.
“She will have about how many lovers there if she wants. I am really tough when it comes to insulting… I am doing nothing and yet she keeps on talking,” he said.
(The Philippine Star) | Updated September 27, 2016