Saying it is “not the business of the President to lie to the public,” President Rodrigo Duterte broke his silence about the supposed “immoral” acts of Senator Leila de Lima. He accused the senator of using her driver (and alleged lover) to collect money from drug lords who were inmates in the New Bilibid Prisons.
After years of de Lima trying to link him to various crimes without any evidence or case filed, Duterte had this to say to his tormentor: “You libelled me. You slandered me. I kept quiet because you’re a lady.”
This time the President would not hold back. Fed up with de Lima’s posturing, Duterte said she was “namumulitika (politicking)” even when she too “has a very sordid personal and official life.”
During a news conference at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Duterte made his revelations about “a senator (who is) complaining, when one day, I will tell you that her driver — who was her lover — was the one who’s collecting money for her (from drug lords in Muntinlupa) during the campaign.”
“It’s adultery. Here is a woman who funded the house of her lover, and yet we do not say anything about it?”
While the President did not mention de Lima during the news conference, in an ambush interview after his initial pronouncements, he gave in to requests from the media to name names by saying, “You want to know the name? De Lima.”
De Lima, who spoke to the media even before she was named by Duterte, said the revelations made by Duterte were “so foul. It’s character assassination.”
She had recently floated the idea of President being charged for “crimes against humanity” before the International Criminal Court, similar to what happened to Kenyan President Kenyatta Uhutu in 2014. If this happens, Duterte may have to cede the presidency to Leni Robredo.