Duterte advises De Lima: Take a break
HANOI, Vietnam – Following Senator Leila de Lima's emotional speech at a press conference, President Rodrigo Duterte advised his fiercest critic to take a few days off to rest.
"I think honestly, I'm not trying to derogate her. She's a lawyer. She's bright. I think she's breaking down. I would suggest that she takes days off," said Duterte on Wednesday, September 28, during a press conference before leaving for Vietnam.
Duterte derided her impassioned speeches and warned her of a nervous breakdown.
"If she continues yakking there and listening to – she will have a nervous breakdown," said the President.
He claims De Lima is responsible for introducing "narco-politics" into national government, an offense which he says is the "most serious charge" against her.
Duterte also insists he's the one being oppressed by De Lima and not the other way around.
"She talked about me, harping on extrajudicial killings. And yet to date, no case is filed. I was investigated once by the [rapporteur] Philip Alston. And she wants to have me investigated again by the UN through a new – ako 'yun, ako 'yun, inapi-api niya (I am the one being oppressed by her)," said the President.
De Lima was recently ousted as chairperson of the Senate committee on justice and human rights. She is now the subject of a House probe into prison drug trade, an investigation launched by Duterte's allies. This series of events, she claims, was orchestrated by the President himself.
Asked by a reporter about De Lima's sarcastic suggestion that perhaps he has affections for her, Duterte pretended to stumble in his place before abruptly walking out and ending the press conference.
De Lima accused Duterte and his allies of political harassment in the form of a "sham" House inquiry into how she supposedly facilitated the drug trade in Bilibid. (READ: De Lima: Duterte apology over 'trash' matrix proves my innocence)
Meanwhile, Duterte claims De Lima's determination to link him to extrajudicial killings in Davao City is fueled by her motivation to "make a name for herself." – Rappler.com