Duterte says EU lawmakers ‘naive’ for wanting De Lima freed

Pia Ranada
'This EU, for their naivete, I pity those guys,' says President Rodrigo Duterte

'FOOLISH.' President Rodrigo Duterte blasts members of the European Parliament anew. File photo by Kiwi Bulaclac/Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte called members of the European Parliament “naive” and “foolish” for demanding the release of one of his fiercest critics, Senator Leila de Lima, and describing her as a “political prisoner.”

“This EU, for their naivete, I pity those guys,” he began his tirade during a speech on Wednesday, March 29, in Oriental Mindoro.

Pinaparelease ng EU kasi political prisoner daw, ‘yung sa politika. Anak ng – tapos ako pa tuloy ang ipakulong. Buang, putangina itong –,” said an indignant Duterte.

(The EU is calling for her release because she is supposedly a political prisoner. Son of a – then I’m the one they want in jail. Fools, sons of bitches these –)

Duterte said he hoped he did not offend the Caucasians in the audience with his statements. He clarified he was only referring to EU Parliament members, not all Europeans.

“Without offending you guys, itong mga puti pagkabugok talaga (these whites are really stupid), terrible. No, you’re not the one,” he said.

Duterte’s appointees and allies have said De Lima cannot claim to be a political prisoner as her arrest was “not politically motivated.”

The Department of Justice filed 3 criminal complaints before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court against De Lima, accusing her of violating Section 5 of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which penalizes the “sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs.”

It comes 5 months after a House inquiry into the drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison when De Lima was justice secretary, anchored on the testimonies of convicts who claimed that De Lima received drug money in exchange for their protection.

Drug charges against some of the convicts were dropped after they were tapped to become state witnesses in the case against De Lima.

De Lima has denied the charges, saying they were cooked up to silence her for her opposition to Duterte’s policies, particularly his war against drugs.

Previously, Duterte slammed the European Parliament for interfering with the Philippines by demanding a stop to efforts to reinstate the death penalty. – Rappler.com

Pia Ranada

Pia Ranada is a senior reporter for Rappler covering Philippine politics and environmental issues. For tips and story suggestions, email her at pia.ranada@rappler.com.