- in Opinion

I must confess I didn’t follow the Senate investigation into the suspicious death of Albuera Mayor Rolando Espinosa. It was not that I didn’t feel it was important. It was just that there were more urgent concerns at the moment.

One thing that struck me though was the very active participation of Sen. Leila de Lima in the deliberations. Yes, she who was identified as one of the protectors of the late mayor’s son, Kerwin, who is considered as one of the biggest drug lords in the Visayas.

Why did de Lima participate in the deliberations?

Sure, there is the doctrine on the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. But at the same time, there is also that rapidly disappearing word called delicadeza.

It does not take a legal mind to expect her to do everything to deny that during the deliberation. It is not human nature to contribute to one’s destruction. And certainly, it is not de Lima’s nature.

It matters little now whether she asked the right questions. It’s just that it isn’t right.

De Lima has been in the news for the wrong reasons. More and more people are amazed at her ability to insist to be in the news after everything that’s said of her.

Some people add that they are amazed why news organizations continue to give her prominence after what has been revealed about her so far. But that’s a different story.

This is no brief for delicadeza.

It’s just that out of de Lima’s effort to deflect more heat for her inclusion in the late mayor’s list and her insistence to take matters into her own hands, she just announced her disdain not only for the word but more so for everything that it stands for.

True, delicadeza is not a legal principle. There is not even a universally accepted definition for it. And yet, it has been there for so long that many Filipinos know what it means.

Certainly, de Lima’s active participation does not fall under the ambit of many people’s definition of delicadeza.

For sure, de Lima can no longer be assumed as a believer in delicadeza, not after everything that has been said of her, not with her official and unofficial acts, and certainly not after the manner in which she has conducted herself in relation to all the revelations.

Unlike what her party mates initially projected her to be: the poster girl of human rights advocacy in the country, and unlike what she desperately but unsuccessfully markets herself to be – a woman persecuted because she has the gall to see evil in everything the President does, de Lima does not belong to anything decent.

If anything, de Lima belongs only to that self-righteous group that projected itself as “disente” even after looting the Yolanda coffers and selling the country to drug syndicates.

Delicadeza has never been de Lima’s strongest point. Unless a miracle happens, there is little indication that it will be.

After throwing delicadeza out of the window in that Senate hearing, she proved once and for all that she will stop at nothing to insist on her own set of rules.

And yet, one thing is clear: just because de Lima does not believe in it does not mean delicadeza has gone out of style.

On the contrary, it is making a strong comeback in a country that has awakened to the exciting possibilities that the Duterte administration has ushered in.

In spite of de Lima, Delicadeza is alive and well.

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News must travel a bit slower behind bars,