De Lima refutes Duterte’s claims she continues to wield influence at NBP

Published September 11, 2019, 1:18 PM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Hannah Torregoza 

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday rejected as nothing but “insanity in its most diabolical form”  President Rodrigo Duterte’s oft-repeated reason behind his decision to transfer convict-witnesses in the illegal drug charges against her to the Marines barracks in Taguig City.

Senator Leila de Lima (REUTERS/Romeo Ranoco / MANILA BULLETIN)
Senator Leila de Lima

De Lima said Duterte’s recent statement was meant to deceive the public into believing she still had the power to direct her alleged “allies” inside the New Bilibid Prisons (NBP) to harm the convicted inmates who testified against her.

“In Duterte’s twisted mind, I’m that powerful! So powerful that I can actually command my alleged NBP ‘allies’ to harm or assassinate their fellow inmates! This is insanity in its most diabolical form!” she said in her latest statement.

The senator said Duterte was once again caught lying through his teeth by painting her before the Filipino people as a powerful narco-politician who has a capacity to kill people.

Duterte recently admitted he directed the transfer of the high-profile convict-witnesses to the Marines headquarters in Taguig City to keep them away from De Lima’s alleged “allies” who could inflict harm on them.

“It should be clear to everyone that this latest presidential inanity is but another move aimed at perpetuating their biggest lie or grossest myth – na ako daw ay sangkot sa ilegal na droga, na ako daw ang ‘No. 1 drug lord’ o ‘leading narco-politican’ sa bansa!” she said.

De Lima believes that the transfer of the convict-witnesses from the NBP to the Marines headquarters in Taguig was meant to further control them into pinning her down in the trumped-up drug charges the Duterte administration has filed against her.

“Aminin nyo na lang kasi na ang totoong dahilan sa paglipat nyo sa mga convicts-witnesses na iyan sa Philippine Marines HQ ay ito: For you and your equally evil operators to further control these witnesses in terms of pinning me down in the drug cases against me,” she stressed.

The timing of the transfer was suspicious as it happened before they were scheduled to take the witness stand in the cases filed with the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC), de Lima noted.

She said confining the convict-witnesses within a more secluded place like the Marines headquarters would be easier for the Duterte government to strike more clandestine deals with them to ensure her conviction.

“You need to give them further special treatment in exchange for falsely testifying against me, if not to further threaten, coerce and pressure them into standing by their grossly fabricated tales about me. In sum, more orchestrated lies!” she said.

“Gusto mo lang talaga akong durugin. Again, Mr. Duterte, enough of this madness!” De Lima emphasized.

De Lima, who is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) headquarters, reiterated that the trumped-up drug charges were part of a grand scheme to silence her vocal stand against illegal drugs, extrajudicial killings, and human rights abuses.

De Lima earlier questioned the Office of the Ombudsman’s directive to her and former interior secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II to explain or clarify the implementing rules and regulations of the Good Conduct Time Allowance (GCTA) law.

De Lima said the letter seemed to be “a set-up for her and the former secretary into taking the fall for the Sanchez-Faeldon scandal with which we have nothing to do?”

“I find this development highly irregular. I will consult my lawyers on this,” she said.