- President Rodrigo Duterte said he has evidence that Senator Leila De Lima is an "immoral person"
- De Lima, on the other hand, stressed that she has no power to fight against the president noting that she is only a senator
- Duterte on Wednesday accused De Lima of having an affair with her driver and linked her to the illegal drug trade
Amidst President Rodrigo Duterte's tirades against Senator Leila De Lima, the latter said on Thursday she would not fight the head of the country as she is just a senator.
The former Department of Justice (DOJ) secretary held a press conference earlier today.
“Hindi po ako lalaban. Hindi ko po kaya labanan ang pangulo. Unang una, hindi ko nga po alam ang kasalanan ko sa kanya,” De Lima told the media.
(I will not fight. I can't fight the president. Firstly, I don't know what I did wrong to him.)
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She explained that she has no power to contend with Duterte.
"How does one defend oneself, when the attacker is immune from suit and has all the backing of executive power to support him in his personal attack? This is no less than abuse and misuse of executive power. I don't think the Constitution has ever contemplated such abuse of power on such scale, as it assumes every president to conduct himself in a manner befitting the office he holds,” the senator stated.
According to De Lima, she is thinking of stopping the investigation on extrajudicial killings and summary executions, which allegedly stemmed from Duterte's war on crime and illegal drugs, if that is the only way to end personal issues thrown at her.
“Your Excellency, naisip ko na rin po na itigil na ang imbestigasyon sa mga summary executions kung iyon ang gusto ninyo para lamang matigil ang mga personal na atake sa akin… Pero kapag ginawa ko po ito ay parang tinalikuran ko na rin ang sarili kong pagkatao, at itinatwa ang sarili kong mga paninindigan at paniniwala,” she furthered.
(Your Excellency, I also thought of ending the investigation on summary executions if that is what you want to stop attacking me below the belt. But if I did that, it would be like I turned down my own well being, and denied my stand and beliefs.)
Meanwhile, Duterte remained unshakable and stood by his claims against the senator, confident that he has proofs to support his allegations.
“She’s an immoral person…Yes, I already have (evidence). Gusto niyong malaman kung totoo ‘yan, pumunta kayo sa justice department, sa Commission on Human Rights, i-validate n’yo, tapos kung sabihin n’yong nagsisinungaling ako, balikan n’yo ako," Duterte said in an ambush interview on Thursday.
(Do you want to know if it's true, go to the justice department, to the Commission on Human Rights, validate it, and if you find me lying, return to me.) - Kami Media