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MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senator Leila de Lima delivered a privilege speech on Tuesday, August 2, to decry the “do-it- yourself justice” that various quarters have carried under the cover of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against illegal drugs. (Watch the speech here.)
De Lima also condemned the attempt of some people associated with the President to spread “lies” that she coddled drug lords who were detained at the national penitentiary.
“We have to continue opposing the murder of the innocents as well as that of the suspects. We must call for the accountability of state actors responsible for this terrifying trend in law enforcement, and the investigation of killings perpetrated by the vigilante assassins,” she said.
“In the campaign against criminality, we cannot applaud criminal methods merely because we are left unaffected. Life has more value than an accusation written on a piece of cardboard whether you are rich or a scum of the earth. Needless to say, all lives matter.”
De Lima chairs the Senate committee on justice and human rights, which will jointly investigate with the committee on public order and illegal drugs the spate of extrajudicial and vigilante killings in August.
To her detractors, the senator said: “I cannot stay silent in the face of all these blatant lies created in the backroom of a media strategy office suite. I will not fall without a fight.”
She called them “misguided men” who want to paint her as an enemy of the administration, and “use the President’s war against drugs as their platform to destroy any elected public official who dares question the methods by which this war is waged.”
Below is the full text of De Lima’s privilege speech: