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‘Distortions, exaggerations, lies’

Sen. Leila M. de Lima said this yesterday but reiterated anew that the allegations being hurled against her by President Duterte about having solid links to big time lords and engaging in an illicit affair are “distortions, exaggerations, and lies.”

“Ang nakikita ko po kasi nga-yon, parang hindi na alam ng tao ngayon alin ang totoo dyan, alin ang hindi. Totoo ba yan, kasinu-ngalingan ba yan,” De Lima said in an interview.

“This is what I can say at this point. Okay, may kaunting totoo dyan, pero karamihan diyan, exaggerations, distortions, and lies. And foremost of the lies, is ’yung sinasabing na may nangongolekta para sa akin sa Bilibid. That is an absolute lie,” she said.

On Thursday, De Lima faced the media to denounce the President’s attacks on her character and appealed to spare her family, friends, and colleagues.

This was after Duterte disclosed De Lima as an “immoral person” and that her lover is her driver Ronnie Palisoc Dayan and her alleged bagman who collected drug money inside the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa City for her.
De Lima said the reason why she did not raise the issue during her presser was because she had long denied the allegations.

“Now, magtatanong kayo, bakit hindi nabanggit yan kahapon? Matagal ko na ho dine-deny yan. Madalas ko na ho dine-deny yan sa mga various interviews, because remember these are the insinuations na protektor ako, coddler ako ng drug lords or drug convicts dahil nakikinabang ako. I’m on their payroll, sinasabi nila. Or nagcontribute sila sa campaign funds ko,” she pointed out.

“But, ilang beses ko na yan dine-deny. So, I’m denying it again. (That’s) an absolute lie; that’s completely false! I would never do that because I’ve never betrayed my oath as a public servant and I don’t intend to betray my oath as a public servant, lalo na may mandato ako sa taumbayan,” she reiterated.

De Lima said she remains unfazed in conducting a two-day Senate probe on extrajudicial killings next week, saying she is resolute in addressing the phenomenon of vigilantism and summary killings to enhance the accountability of state and non-state actors.

“Regardless of the question whether those killed were in fact criminals, precisely because there was no opportunity for them to be prosecuted before a court of law, the fight against crime is apparently becoming a state-sanctioned cover for a policy of summary executions and extrajudicial killings of any and all suspected criminals,” she stressed. (Hannah L. Torregoza)