True to his word, President Duterte has just released the illegal drugs matrix that maps out the shows the links between Leila de Lima and some of the Philippines top drug lords.
According to the report that was shared by the President to the media in the early morning hours of Thursday, August 25, De Lima sits on top of the heap of personalities that allowed detained criminals to operate their syndicates even from behind bars.
Among the other persons identified by the President are Ronnie Dayan, De Lima’s former driver and the alleged payola collector for the former Justice Secretary. Undersecretary Francisco Baran and his brother Raffy, former Bureau of Corrections head Franklin Bacayu, and Cong. Amado Espino.
De Lima, who has launched a counter investigation on Duterte’s anti-illegal drug crusade, has been heavily criticized by the public for using the senate hearings as a venue to clean up her image, while actively attacking the President.
Her own colleague, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has openly asked De Lima to inhibit herself from the investigation so that it will not be tainted with her partisan or personal agenda.
The question now is, with this revelation, what will Senate President Coco Pimentel do? His position as head of the body relies heavily on his coalition with Frank Drilon and the Liberal Party, to which De Lima also belongs. Is he willing to lose his position for the sake of upholding the truth?
If he is, then Pimentel should call for a separate ethics commission hearing on the very serious charges raised by the President against De Lima. If he does not, then he loses all moral and political authority to even stand in the same stage – let alone say that he shares the same governance platform – with Duterte.
This has now become a test of character for Pimentel, the Senate, the leadership of the Liberal Party, and even De Lima herself. If any of them have even the faintest hint of delicadeza, they will do the right thing. If they don’t, then sometime in the future we can look at this moment and see it as when the final nail was hammered in that seals this irrelevant body of idiots in its well deserved coffin.