De Lima: No shortcut to law and order
Patricia Lourdes Viray (Philstar.com) - August 31, 2016 - 11:55am

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima admitted that there is a need to intensify the campaign against illegal drugs in the country but with the least number of killings.

The neophyte senator suggested that the country's criminal justice system and law enforcement should be reformed.

"There should be no shortcuts in trying to achieve law and order in our society," De Lima said in an interview with CNN Chief International Correspondent Christiane Amanpour on Wednesday morning.

The senator added that law enforcers and prosecutors should be trained in the "proper manner" for them to be more efficient.

De Lima, however, disputed the claim of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano that there are no extrajudicial killings in the country.

"How can anyone say that there are no extrajudicial killings? We have no more than 2,000 dead bodies, dead persons in the name of the so-called war. Many of these are summary killings or extrajudicial killings," De Lima said.

The senator further questioned if indeed the 756 people killed during anti-drugs operations of the police allegedly resisted.

"I do not for a second believe that."

De Lima also belied Cayetano's claims that more killings were recorded during the previous administrations of former Presidents Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Benigno Aquino III.

"That is not true. If Sen. Cayetano refers to both the Arroyo and Aquino administration, then we're looking at a period of a more than 10 years. That's nine years of Arroyo and six years of Aquino and then we have two months of the Duterte administration and there are a little over 2,000 already killed in the name of this war against drugs," the senator said.

On the other hand, the senator clarified that she is not disagreeing with the magnitude of the drug problem in the Philippines.

"No one is disputing the magnitude of the drug problem in our country. He (Duterte) was able to really hit it right in the jugular and that's why it's so appealing," De Lima said.

The senator also denied accusations of President Rodrigo Duterte that she has links to the illegal drug trade.

De Lima said that the president might have taken a personal vendetta against her when she led an investigation into his alleged links to the Davao Death Squad when she was the chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights.

"I've been warned that if I proceed with the Senate inquiry they're going to do this, they're going to destroy me and even if this is not really good for me, this is certainly bad for the president because I know what is the truth and the truth is on my side," the senator said.

The senator recently opened a Senate probe into the rising number of extrajudicial and vigilante killings of drug suspects.

Since then, Duterte has released a drug matrix showing the alleged links of De Lima to the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.

RELATED: Duterte to De Lima: Resign, hang yourself

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