A fighting Sen. Leila de Lima on Friday cited the irony of how the administration has turned to drug convicts to pin her on allegations of profiting from illicit drug operations at the national penitentiary. This as she continued to face a stream of accusations and tirades from the Duterte administration since she took a fierce stand against the President’s bloody drug war, where thousands have died, including those who died in incidents she suspects are extrajudicial killings. The senator noted that the Duterte administration, while staunchly against illegal drugs, is now relying on jailed drug lords to testify against her, even as the administration had claimed that drug lords were plotting to assassinate the President.
READ: Cons pin down De Lima “Because now, the drug lords and criminals in Bilibid are the allies of the President in his war on drugs. (Justice Secretary Vitaliano) Aguirre doesn’t even notice how laughable their situation is now. The President has on his side the drug lords who, according to them (the administration), had chipped in to raise a billion pesos to have him killed,” De Lima said. “What was that? A change of heart? How stupid of them to miss how skewed their statements are,” De Lima said.
De Lima was referring to drug convicts who were presented at witnesses and granted immunity at a House of Representatives inquiry earlier this week, where they attested to De Lima’s alleged drug involvement. The convicts, including convicted robber Herbert Colanggo, whose gang is tagged in the 2008 Cabuyao bank massacre, and murder convict Jojo Baligad, told lawmakers in lengthy hearings that drug lord Jaybee Sebastian even imposed sale quotas to raise election campaign funds for the senator. De Lima, who has refused to participate in what she described as a “sham” inquiry at the lower house, said Thursday that Sebastian was a government asset.
READ: De Lima says Jaybee was her asset The senator has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying it was part of efforts to discredit her name for her criticism of the President’s brutal campaign against drugs. As justice secretary, she had several times raided the jail facility, uncovering luxury villas and contraband including drugs, cash and gadgets from high-profile inmates, among whom testified against her at the House inquiry.