‘De Lima screwing not only her driver but also the nation’

The Philippine Star

DAVAO CITY, Philippines – President Duterte’s berating of Sen. Leila de Lima has intensified, as he accused her yesterday of “screwing” her driver and the nation while she raised human rights issues against him.

“De Lima is not only screwing her driver, she is also screwing the nation. She has been building a name at my expense to become popular,” the President said in remarks at the inauguration of Filinvest’s power plant in Misamis Oriental.

He also said the senator has a “propensity for sex.”

De Lima’s driver Ronnie Dayan was himself being linked to the alleged illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison.

De Lima has initiated a Senate investigation into rising cases of summary executions in the country, seen triggered by Duterte’s stepped up campaign against illegal drugs.

As chairman of the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) during the Arroyo administration, De Lima launched an investigation into extrajudicial killings in Davao City allegedly carried out by the so-called Davao death squad (DDS) at the behest of Duterte, then city mayor.

A man who claimed to be a former DDS member, Edgar Matobato, told the Senate committee on human rights of Duterte’s links to the killings in the city when he was still mayor.

The President has repeatedly denied the existence of the death squad, which he said is a creation of human rights groups that investigated the killings in Mindanao.

The President said De Lima has been persistently complaining about his human rights record without filing an appropriate case against him.

He said even when she was justice chief, De Lima had never bothered to file cases against him for his alleged links to the DDS.

He said he was getting attention from the CHR and other human rights groups for his vicious and uncompromising approach to fighting criminality. He has repeatedly declared his wish to have criminals, especially drug offenders, killed.

The President said rival politicians have been dredging up the DDS and human rights issue to destroy his reputation since he was still city mayor.

“The opposition rode on the issue especially during the election, and now there’s a Senate investigation,” he said in Filipino.

He added he has evidence to prove De Lima’s alleged involvement in the drug trade at the NBP when she was still DOJ chief.

De Lima is shown at the center of Duterte’s matrix of officials with supposed drug links.

The President said Dayan was De Lima’s link to the drug lords at NBP. He also claimed that Dayan had collected drug money to bankroll De Lima’s senatorial bid.

According to the President, the senator’s “immorality” had made her violate the law and grant special privileges to drug lords at the NBP.

Some drug convicts told lawmakers at recent House hearings that the penitentiary became a “little Las Vegas” during De Lima’s stint as justice secretary.

De Lima has denied the allegations and claimed that Duterte and his allies were out to assassinate her character. – Alexis Romero

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