Declare Duterte 'unfit' for office, De Lima asks Cabinet
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila de Lima called on the Cabinet to declare President Rodrigo Duterte “unfit” to serve the country, citing his supposed abuse of the powerful opioid painkiller Fentanyl.
“The Cabinet should seriously consider declaring him unfit to perform the duties of the President and relay such opinion to Congress, in order to save this nation once and for all from the ramblings of a madman,” De Lima said on Friday, December 23.
De Lima, the fiercest critic of Duterte, slammed the chief executive for his new tirades against the United Nations high commissioner for human rights, the Anti-Money Laundering Council, and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas.
“We have to understand by now that all the President’s statements are fentanyl-induced. He can no longer be considered to be in a normal state of mind,” the senator said.
“How else can one explain all of these outrageous statements about the BSP (Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas) executives and the UN human rights commissioner who are the most professional people in their respective lines of work?” she added.
Duterte on Thursday, December 22, lambasted UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein for urging Philippine authorities to probe him after he himself admitted killing at least 3 suspects when he was Davao City mayor. (READ: Duterte to UN rights chief: Shut up, we pay your salary)
The Chief Executive reminded the UN official that the Philippines, as a member state of the international organization, pays for the salary of UN employees like him.
Before this, on the same day, Duterte accused officials of the AMLC and BSP of inefficiency and corruption. (READ: Duterte threatens to 'whack' BSP, AMLC officials)
The President in the same speech also blasted the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) for alleged corruption in issuing online gaming licenses. But PEZA later reminded him that it has nothing to do with regulating online gaming in the Philippines. (READ: PEZA to Duterte: We're not engaged in online gaming)
Allegations vs AMLC untrue
De Lima said allegations against the AMLC are untrue, saying it had been cooperative with her when she was justice secretary. She added members of the Duterte administration have “little” respect for the rule of law.
“In my time as secretary of justice, during which time we worked with the AMLC in many cases that resulted in productive investigations that even resulted in the freezing of assets of some of those subject of investigation or parties to cases filed in court, I have never known said office to be uncooperative,” said De Lima.
This was the second time Duterte threatened AMLC and BSP officials. He earlier accused them of turning a blind eye to hidden wealth and allegedly contributing to a smear campaign against him during the 2016 polls. After his outburts, the AMLC in November released documents that would allegedly bolster the case against De Lima.
While the President did not spell out what was in the report he was demanding, he seemed to be referring to the bank records of the senator, whom he alleged to be a drug coddler.
The law, however, prohibits the AMLC from sharing any information with anyone else without a court order. – Rappler.com