De Lima: 2016 year of ‘misogynist, dictatorial sociopaths’

Camille Elemia

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De Lima: 2016 year of ‘misogynist, dictatorial sociopaths’
'God forbid there’s another misogynistic leader emerging in the world because this would just be trading one chauvinistic mammal for another,' says Senator Leila de Lima, as she warned of a Trump presidency

MANILA, Philippines – For Senator Leila de Lima, 2016 is the year that has turned the world around, with the victory of Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and the emergence of Donald Trump as a presidential contender in the United States.

Warning of a possible Trump victory in the US presidential election, De Lima told college students at a forum on Friday, October 14, “God forbid there’s another misogynistic leader emerging in the world because this would just be trading one chauvinistic mammal for another.”

In a speech at A Forum on Women’s Life, Dignity, and Democracy in Miriam College, De Lima repeatedly slammed Duterte for his “sexist and misogynistic” ways and likened him to Trump, who, like Duterte during the campaign, is now facing controversies for his foul remarks against women.

During the campaign, Duterte’s joke about an Australian missionary who was raped and killed by convicts in Davao City sparked public outrage. In the US campaign trail, a 2005 video of Trump emerged, which caught him using vulgar, predatory language as he described groping women.

Referring to the rise of the two personalities, De Lima said: “The year 2016…is also the year when the world seems to have been turned upside politically – with misogynistic, and narcissistic authoritarians, so-called populist leaders finding their way back to power, ironically, on the back of the masses through so-called democratic processes, by capitalizing on the terror being wreaked by extremist groups.”

The senator said the world should brace for a tough and bumpy ride ahead. De Lima then alluded to “dictatorial sociopaths” with “short tempers and itchy fingers.”

“Let’s all think about that. The signs are telling us to brace for a rough ride. For 2016 is definitely the year we start truly feeling insecure in the possibility of nuclear codes falling into, if not already, in the hands of dictatorial sociopaths with itchy fingers, short tempers, and no impulse control,” she said, echoing criticisms against Duterte and Trump.

De Lima earlier denounced Duterte’s declaration of a state of emergency on the basis of lawless violence and has repeatedly called him a dictator in the making. (READ: Duterte war on drugs ‘martial law without declaration’)

Sexism, marginalization

In the same speech, the senator lamented the “unacceptable” revival of sexist behavior against women.

This, she claimed, is only meant to downplay women’s role and influence to usher in possible dictators – an apparent reference to herself and Trump’s rival, Hillary Clinton.

“Because 2016 is also the year when there has been an unacceptable resurgence in sexist behavior…intentionally meant to undermine the role and influence of women in society – which could very well be what will ultimately give free reign to the destructive forces in our midst to completely destroy our political structure and our very humanity,” she said.

The senator has found herself as a target of the Duterte administration’s “war on drugs” after the President himself accused her of receiving drug money collected from convicts by her former driver and alleged lover, Ronnie Dayan, when she was justice secretary.

Duterte had tagged De Lima as an “immoral woman” for having an affair with her married driver. He alleged in public that two had a sex video, which would supposedly establish her link to the drug trade. Administration officials and allies in Congress threatened to show the video at a congressional inquiry, but later backed off after the plan was slammed by fellow lawmakers and women’s groups.

De Lima said she was not the “slut” the administration is “portraying” her to be. She maintained she would not back down despite all the slut-shaming, attacks, and fabricated evidence against her. (READ: De Lima: ‘I’m not a slut, I never betrayed my country’)

The senator and Duterte have long been at odds over the issue of human rights. When she chaired the Commission on Human Rights, De Lima investigated Duterte’s alleged role in the Davao Death Squad. She again drew the ire of the President after she launched a Senate probe into the spate of killings linked to his war on drugs less than two months into the new administration.

Aside from the congressional probe against her, she is also facing multiple drug complaints before the justice department based on the allegations of witnesses at the congressional inquiry, mostly convicts with life terms who were granted immunity from suit for their testimonies. There are also ethics complaints against her at the Senate. –

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a former multimedia reporter for Rappler. She covered media and disinformation, the Senate, the Office of the President, and politics.