De Lima lauds Duterte's new appointees: 'Men of honor, competence, integrity'
MANILA, Philippines – It is not often that she agrees with her greatest foe, but on Saturday, April 7, President Rodrigo Duterte's fiercest critic lauded his new appointees to the Department of Justice, Armed Forces of the Philippines, and the Philippine National Police.
Detained Senator Leila de Lima weighed in on the recent appointment of Justice Secretary Menardo Guevarra, Police Director Oscar Albayalde as the next PNP chief, and incoming AFP chief Lieutenant General Carlito Galvez Jr.
“They are all men of honor, competence, and integrity,” she said in a dispatch from her jail cell in Camp Crame.
Guevarra replaced Vitaliano Aguirre II, who resigned on Thursday, April 5, following a series of controversies hounding the DOJ under his watch.
"Much as I doubt the sincerity of the reasons why President Duterte let go of Secretary Aguirre, the new appointments made by him are as good as they can get under this administration," said De Lima, a former DOJ secretary.
The senator also listed what she hoped the 3 appointees would pursue in their respective new offices.
“Hopefully, despite the President, Guevarra can bring back true dispensation of justice at the DOJ, bereft of any partisan and persecutorial agenda; that Albayalde can return respect for human rights and genuine police work at the PNP; and that Galvez can once more assert the defense of Philippine territories in the West Philippine Sea against China and effectively pursue the peace agenda in our internal security concerns," she said.
“I wish these gentlemen all the luck in their new appointments, with the unsolicited advice and guidance of a senior public official like themselves that their loyalty lies first with the Constitution and the Republic, and second only with the President who appointed them," De Lima added.
She also gave them another unsolicited advice, apparently in reference to her own situation: "Gentleman, there is no dishonor in doing what is right and firmly standing by it."
"You will be remembered for not how you serve this President, but for how well you serve your country, and your people in spite of him,” she added.
De Lima has been in jail for over a year following her arrest and detention for what she called "trumped up" drug charges meant to silence Duterte's most outspoken critic. – Rappler.com