De Lima: Duterte admin merely targeting political rivals
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila de Lima slammed the Duterte administration on Sunday, November 13, saying it is mounting a war against its political opponents and not on drugs.
De Lima released a statement in response to the government's plan to soon issue a subpoena against her and others for alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
"You and I know that this administration is singularly motivated to demonize its political opponents instead of confronting the illegal drug menace," said De Lima.
"This administration has not provided solid evidence to substantiate their accusations other than malicious conjectures and manufactured lies. All they are good at is to talk and lambast me in public." (READ: The public trial of Leila de Lima)
De Lima, in particular, criticized Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, reiterating that he would only produce fake evidence against her. (READ: De Lima: Aguirre's evidence vs me 'fake' like his wig)
"I am up against the belief that Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre can exhaust his powers and tap government resources to manufacture false evidence designed to link me to [the] illegal drug trade," she said.
De Lima, Aguirre's predecessor at the Department of Justice (DOJ), went on to say that Aguirre had no license to "abuse his authority to smear my reputation and slander my integrity."
The senator is accused of alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison while she was still justice secretary under the Aquino administration – an accusation that came from no less than President Rodrigo Duterte.
Inmates who testified in a congressional inquiry claimed De Lima received money from jailed drug lords to fund her senatorial bid in the May 2016 elections.
The National Bureau of Investigation on Thursday, November 10, then recommended the filing of formal charges against De Lima, her former staff at the DOJ, and officials of the Bureau of Corrections.
De Lima has repeatedly denied the accusations and maintained that the President has a personal vendetta against her.
"But sooner than we thought, more and more people are now seeing through this administration's real motive, that is to keep me from talking about their continued disregard to human rights and dignity in the war against drugs," De Lima said.