In his column for the Manila Times, journalist Yen Makabenta said that Senator Leila de Lima could not counter the allegations thrown at her by President Duterte because of her ‘lack of credibility’ and the fact that her own political party did not defend her.
A week before de Lima leads a congressional inquiry into alleged extrajudicial killings by the Duterte administration’s war against drugs, Duterte lashes on the senator, telling the media that de Lima is an adulterer, being involved with her driver to whom she allegedly gave two houses in Pangasinan. A talk of a sex video is also spreading.
The affair, Makabenta said is an open secret at the Department of Jutsice (DOJ) and the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
The driver is said to have collected money from drug lords for her campaign.
Makabenta compared de Lima’s reaction to classic defense tricks used by two personalities: Bill Clinton and Richard Nixon.
Last Wednesday, the President again made headlines by lambasting an “immoral senator” who isallegedly receiving money from drug syndicates at the New Bilibid Prison through her personaldriver, who is coincidentally her lover.
Later that day, Duterte said that he was talking about De Lima.
“I have been denying this for a long time already. Remember, these are the insinuations that I am a protector, coddler of drug lords or drug convicts because I benefited from them; I’m on their payroll as they claimed or that they contributed to my campaign funds,” the senator said.
She said that she’d never do it as she has never betrayed her oath as a public servant and she doesn’t intend to, especially now that she has a mandate from the people.
De Lima also strongly denied that she was the one who paid for the house of her former driverand lover. She is thinking of holding a press conference to put an end to all the accusations and to clear her name—preferably before the start of her committee’s investigation into extrajudicial killings of alleged drug pushers.
The senator did not specify what were the “snippets of truth” in the accusations. ASCS