Duterte to De Lima: I have witnesses against you
AWANG, Maguindanao – President Rodrigo Duterte challenged Senator Leila de Lima, on Thursday, to defend herself by disputing his allegations against her.
“She can have all the time in the world,” Mr. Duterte told reporters during a chance interview at Camp Siongco here, but added that the things he said about De Lima were not figments of imagination and he could tap many witnesses against her, including her “driver-lover.”
He even advised reporters to “go to the Department of Justice and the Commission on Human Rights to validate.” “You want to know the truth?…If I was lying, you can charge me,” Mr. Duterte said, adding that while De Lima hated scandal, “she knows she is a public official.”
“She has scandal at the CHR, scandal at DOJ and she’s talking about family,” he said. Mr. Duterte said De Lima should know that “if you’re a public official, your life is an open book.”
He said De Lima has been talking without evidence in criticizing the police’s work against illegal drugs. “She accuses the police of doing such things (summary executions) when policemen were getting killed (in the course of anti-drug operations),” he said.
Mr. Duterte said he was not making empty accusations. “I won’t talk without any evidence, I’m not like her,” he said.
He said he would be using many witnesses to pin her down, “including her driver-lover.” Mr. Duterte said he also did not go overboard in criticizing De Lima. “I did not but she did,” he said.
On Wednesday, at a public event of the Philippine National Police, President Duterte alleged that De Lima has been having an affair with a married lover — her driver — who has also been functioning as her collector of drug protection money. Duterte also alleged that De Lima’s lover has been using drugs.