MANILA, Philippines – President Rodrigo Duterte wants his fiercest critic in the legislature, Senator Leila De Lima, to step down.
"Dapat ka mag-resign (You should resign), you resign," said Duterte, addressing De Lima during a short speech on Monday, August 29, in Tacloban City.
Not one to mince words, Duterte even said that if he were in her place, he would take his own life.
"If I were De Lima, ladies and gentlemen, I will hang myself. The innermost of your core as female being serialized every day," said the President.
He was referring to De Lima's private affairs, including her supposed romantic relationship with her driver, that are now public knowledge largely due to the President's announcement during the Philippine National Police service anniversary.
Duterte, who previously blasted De Lima for "immorality," said the lady senator would make a bad example for women.
"Pinapakita mo 'yan, you resign. Ano'ng pakita mo sa mga babae, 'Follow me,' sabihin mo? (You are showing that, you resign. What are you showing women, 'Follow me,' you will say?) This is how to be a woman of the world," said Duterte.
Last week, Duterte made public a matrix supposedly showing personalities involved in the New Bilibid Prison illegal drug trade. Senator De Lima and former Pangasinan governor Amado Espino Jr, now Pangasinan 5th District representative, are the two highest public officials in the matrix. (READ: De Lima denies Duterte drug matrix: 'It's garbage') – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.