While she may not be directly involved in drug trafficking, Sen. Leila de Lima “allowed” the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), President Rodrigo Duterte said on Tuesday. “It would be unfair to say that De Lima was into drug trafficking, but by implication, kasi she allowed her driver at pati Baraan,” Duterte said during a speech at the 10th Infantry Division Philippine Army, Mawab, Compostella Valley. “I was correct all along because I was supplied with a matrix,” he added. During the campaign period, the President had said that the operation of illegal drugs in the country was rampant inside the NBP. He even said that shabu was cooked inside the penitentiary. Duterte said he would have declared martial law if he was President when drugs were proliferating in NBP. De Lima has repeatedly denied her involvement to the narcotics trade.
President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday linked his staunchest critic, Sen Leila de Lima, to the illegal drug trade, calling her an “immoral woman” whose driver, who he claimed was also her “lover,” collected drug payoffs for her. Without naming the senator in a speech in Camp Crame, the tough-talking President accused De Lima of “political posturing when you yourself has a very sordid personal and official life.” READ: Duterte blasts female senator: She’s ‘immoral’, an ‘adulterer’
But Mr. Duterte, at an airport interview later, named De Lima as the senator he had referred to in his remarks. “Here is a senator complaining. One day I will tell you that her driver himself, who was her lover, was the one collecting money for her during the campaign,” the President said in his nationally televised speech at the 115th Police Service Anniversary at Camp Crame. “Here is an immoral woman, flaunting, well of course insofar as wife of the driver was concerned, (her) adultery,” he said. “Here is a woman who funded the house of her lover and yet we do not see any complaint about it. Those money came readily from drugs.”
“It’s so foul,” De Lima, on the verge of tears, told Senate reporters. “It’s character assassination.” De Lima, chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, is scheduled on Monday to start an inquiry into Mr. Duterte’s bloody war on illegal drugs. She said she would present witnesses to show that police “scalawags” were behind the summary execution of some suspected drug dealers. Nearly 600 suspected drug peddlers and users have been killed in police operations since Mr. Duterte took office six weeks ago, police say, but rights groups put the number at more than 1,000.