By Hannah Torregoza
Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Sunday said she hopes President Duterte would do away with his crude jokes and lies when he delivers his fourth State of the Nation Address (SONA) on Monday, July 22.
The detained senator said the President should present the “true and real state” of the country under his regime.
“I want him to tell the truth this time, instead of spewing out the same lies that he has fed the Filipino people the past three years of his destructive reign,” said De Lima, a staunch critic of the President’s drug war.
“I hope Mr. Duterte would not use the SONA as a venue to intimidate and joke around because the nation faces so many serious problems that should be seriously addressed),” the senator added.
For one, De Lima said, the President should explain to the Filipino people how his pro-China policy is protecting the country’s maritime entitlements in the West Philippine Sea.
De Lima earlier scored the administration’s failure to protect the interest of the Filipino fishermen on board the boat that was rammed by a Chinese vessel.
She also said Duterte must admit the deplorable results of his war on drugs “which has failed to address the problem but instead has led to the deaths of thousands of Filipinos.”
De Lima also said Duterte should acknowledge to the nation that his anti-corruption drive is a huge failure. She said this is evident by the way he gave enormous support to personalities involved in corruption and plunder issues who returned to power under his watch.
At the same time, De Lima criticized the administration for filing sedition charges against her, Vice President Leni Robredo and other personalities in the opposition, saying it was obviously filed in retaliation to the United Nations Human Rights Council’s (UNHRC) resolution calling for a probe into the killings related to the drug war.
“This government is busy changing the news and deviating the discussion on the thousands that were killed, the innocent children that got caught, the fishermen whom they abandoned, the worsening illegal drug trade, and the lack of food on the table of so many Filipino families,” de Lima said.
As usual, Malacanang would deny it is behind the filing of the cases, which stemmed from the “Ang Totoong Narcolist” videos uploaded by a certain Peter Joemel Advincula, who claimed he was coerced by the Liberal Party to link members of the Duterte family to illegal drug activities.
“Who are they fooling? It’s so obvious that this government’s style is to believe in criminals and not decent people,” she said.
“The one and only witness they have against the opposition and the priests is also the source of this whole fiasco; a criminal who has a track record of lying and swindling people,” she said, referring to Advincula, whom the Philippine National Police (PNP) said has been convicted for large-scale estafa and illegal recruitment in 2012.