After extending the olive branch to Chief Justice Maria Lourdes P.A. Sereno, President Duterte has shifted his anger towards another female government official, a staunch critic of his government.
The President did not name the concerned official but pledged to “destroy her in public” soon.
“You know I was the whipping boy of the NGOs and the human rights stalwarts. But you know I have a very special ano kay ano,” Duterte said in a late night press conference in Davao City last Thursday.
“She is a government official. One day soon, bitiwan ko iyan in public and I will have to destroy her in public,” he said.
Duterte declined to give more clues about his critic, telling reporters: “That’s the riddle there. Hintay lang kayo.”
The President also admitted he has been “listening” to a group critical of his government with the help of a foreign country.
“Akala nila hindi ako nakikikinig sa kanila. While all the time they have also been listening to what I have done, I have also been busy and with the help of another country listening to them,” he said.
Duterte said his action was supposedly unlawful but unfazed by any lawsuit. ”If you cannot catch me listening to you, then I will say there’s nothing,” he said in Filipino.
The President has launched a strong campaign against illegal drugs, even naming drug suspects and their coddlers in government. The campaign has yielded hundreds of deaths and arrests of drug suspects while thousands more have surrendered to authorities.
Some groups, however, raised the alarm about potential abuses in the government’s punitive measures against drug suspects.
The President recently had a feud with Chief Justice after she questioned the “premature” announcement of officials including judges with alleged drug connections. He has already apologized to Sereno for his harsh words.
Earlier, the President crossed swords with Sen. Leila M. de Lima who recently called for an investigation into the spate of extrajudicial killings in the country. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)