Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday claimed that former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, along with “one or two” senators charged over the pork barrel scam are allegedly using President Rodrigo Duterte to exact their own revenge against her.
In a media briefing at the Senate, De Lima said “powerful” personalities whom she had investigated in the past have allegedly formed political alliances to make her life difficult.
“I’m referring to personalities lalo na the powerful ones na natapakan ko nung ginagawa ko yung trabaho ko as secretary of Justice,” said De Lima, who was the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) during the previous Aquino administration.
“[These involve] high-profile cases. Some people keep on blaming me until now dun sa pagharang ko nung lalabas sa bansa yung dating Pangulo (Arroyo), diba? And even the President is saying na I will suffer daw the same fate of former President GMA. In other words, I will rot in jail,” De Lima said.
The senator was referring to a 2011 incident when Arroyo, now congresswoman of Pampanga, failed to leave the country after Immigration officials barred her from boarding her flight.
Arroyo failed to leave despite a Supreme Court (SC) order stopping the government from enforcing watch list orders against her.
De Lima, already the DOJ Secretary then, had said that she ordered the Bureau of Immigration (BI) that the watch list will be enforced as the government has yet to receive a copy of the SC order then.
GMA News Online is reaching out to the Arroyo camp for comment as of posting time.
Senator De Lima also pointed to a lawyer of former President Arroyo and a “powerful religious bloc” who was also reportedly “angry” with her.
“Dahil nga mag-kakampi na sila ngayon, may political alliances sila, GMA forces, and then yung mga PDAF senators. Alam ko meron silang mga tao na mga inuutusan diyan to also make my life difficult,” De Lima said.
“These are the forces na may alliances na sila ngayon with the President. Nakapasok sila sa Pangulo, naka-access na sila sa kanya politically and therefore ginagamit nila yung galit sakin ng Pangulo para tulungan ang Pangulo for their own respective agenda, which is also to get back to me. Payback time ang nasa isip nila,” the senator added.
Asked whether she thinks Arroyo herself was behind the efforts against her, De Lima said: “I think so.”
De Lima said “one or two” senators charged for their involvement in the multi-billion priority development assistance fund (PDAF) scam also have an axe to grind with her.
“Baka hindi yung lahat na tatlo. Baka isa o dalawa lang. That’s based on my own information but as I said I cannot validate fully or conclusively,” she said.
Three former senators — Jinggoy Estrada, Juan Ponce Enrile, and Ramon “Bong” Revilla, Jr. — have been jailed over the PDAF scam. Enrile is currently out on bail.
De Lima recalled that in a past confirmation hearing by the Commission on Appointments (CA), one of the members opposed her appointment and threatened to reveal an alleged sex video.
“Yung nagbanta na ipalabas yung alleged sex video, alam ko ginamit sa kanila nung isa sa tatlong PDAF senators…I don’t have to name him. I think you know,” she said. De Lima was referring to then Senator Estrada.
De Lima said she will maintain her innocence on the accusations hurled by Duterte and her other critics until her last breath.
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