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De Lima backs Gordon’s ouster

MANILA, Philippines — Detained Sen. Leila de Lima yesterday expressed support for the ouster of Sen. Richard Gordon as chairman of the Blue Ribbon committee as she challenged her colleagues to reopen the probe on extrajudicial killings.

On the sidelines of the hearing on her disobedience to summons case, De Lima said she understood the sentiments of fellow minority Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV on his bid to remove Gordon as chair of the committee. 

Trillanes and Gordon have been at loggerheads, with the former dubbing the Blue Ribbon committee as the “komite de abswelto” (committee to absolve) under the latter’s chairmanship. 

De Lima said Gordon was unfit to head the Blue Ribbon panel, which heads investigations on sensitive and high-profile cases in the Senate. 

“I understand the sentiment that the head of the Blue Ribbon committee should not be the one to investigate high profile cases. A senator has the tendency to whitewash the accountability of the one in power,” she said in Filipino in an ambush interview.  

De Lima cited the investigation of the P6.4-billion shabu shipment wherein Gordon was accused of lawyering for the presidential son and Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte. 

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However, she said she did not comment on the threats made by Trillanes in ousting Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III if Gordon is not removed. 

De Lima urged her colleagues to reinvestigate the spate of killings under the administration’s war on drugs as she frowned on the infighting among senators over the resolution denouncing the killings and asking the government to stop the slaughter of youths.

She advised her colleagues that the issue should not be about the senators themselves but on the killings. 

The detained senator also took jabs at her former colleague and now Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who she said was taking the international community for fools with his defensive report on the war on drugs, even increasing the number of drug addicts to seven million. 

“That’s the problem. They thought the rest of the world are idiots,” she said.

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