A fuming President Duterte has blasted Sen. Leila M. de Lima for unfairly criticizing his anti-drug campaign even when she has a “very sordid official and personal life.”
At the police service anniversary in Camp Crame, Quezon City, the President did not name the senator but dropped hints she has been “complaining” and “posturing” about the rising drug-related killings in the country.
Duterte accused the senator of having an illicit affair with a married driver and apparently taking drug money to bankroll her recent campaign.
“Yan ang pahirap dito e namumulitika, posturing when you yourself has a very sordid personal unofficial life,” the President said in his impromptu remarks.
The President’s latest tirade came ahead of the Senate investigation into alleged summary executions of drug suspects by the police as proposed by De Lima. Duterte and De Lima have been at odds over his strong campaign against crimes since he was mayor of Davao City.
The President first mentioned the senator in his speech when he was harping against the “bleeding hearts” over the killings of drug suspects in the country.
“Here is a senator complaining when one day I will tell you that her driver herself who was her lover was the one also collecting money for her during the campaign,” he said.
He said the “immoral woman” was flaunting adultery, even funding the house of her lover. “And yet we do not see any complaint about it,” he said.
Duterte also bared that the senator’s driver accepted money from “Muntinlupa,” referring to the drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison.
“Those money came readily from drugs. The intercept between Muntinlupa and the driver were far beyond making sure that somebody was involved,” he said.
“But in fairness, I would never state here that the driver gave the money to her but by the looks of it, she has it,” he said.
The President also hit back at the senator for failing to pin him down for alleged links to the Davao Death Squad, a vigilante group blamed for the killings of criminals, when he was mayor of Davao City.
Duterte said he plans to show to the public the compact disc showing when she investigated him over the alleged human rights violations in Davao.
“Before press entering the hotel lobby, she said, ‘I will prove that Duterte is connected with the DDS, Davao Death Squad.’ Until now she keeps on yakking and has forgotten the tape which I have recorded,” he said.
“I would like her to eat it in my presence but I cannot do it because it is not an accepted edible food for human beings,” he said.
De Lima yesterday cried foul after she learned she is being alluded by Duterte. “May nagsabi na sa akin, ngayon lang. So it’s very surprising. Alam mo ang first reaction ko ngayon, ayaw ko ng patulan yan. I don’t want to dignify that, it’s so foul. It’s character assassination,” De Lima said.
She said she is still hoping that the President would act as a professional public servant and would not resort to maligning his political opponents. “Pareho kaming professional ng Pangulo, pareho rin po kaming public servants, sana hindi ho siya nagre-resort sa ganyan na mga foul means.” (Genalyn D. Kabiling and Hannah L. Torregoza)