LP encourages Koko to have the balls to back De Lima in word war vs. Duterte
The Liberal Party (LP) wants Senate President Aquilino “Koko” Pimentel III to take Senator Leila de Lima’s side in her ongoing word war with President Rodrigo Duterte even if he happens to be the Chief Executive’s top ally in the upper chamber.
In a statement issued Thursday (August 18), LP expressed disappointment at the insults thrown by Duterte at De Lima in a press conference in Camp Crame the previous day.
“Nakakalungkot ang mga salita at mga paratang na naninira sa kaniyang pagkatao at lingkod bayan,” the party said. Speaking before police officials Wednesday (August 17), the President accused a senator of involvement in the illegal drug trade, with the money she allegedly received going to the construction of her lover-cum-driver’s house. He later identified the lawmaker as De Lima.
In light of the incident, the LP urged Pimentel to take up the cudgels for De Lima and stand up to Duterte. “To this end we call on the Senate President to uphold the independence of the Senate whose membership must always be vigorously supported as they fulfill the people’s mandate to make inquiries in aid of legislation,” it said.
The Senate committee on justice and human rights headed by De Lima is set to begin its inquiry on the spate of drug-related killings under Duterte’s watch on August 22. The senator has cried foul over the President’s scathing remarks against her, saying she did not expect him to resort to “character assassination.”
For its part, LP said it “stands for free and open debate, for due process of law, and respect and civility in public discourse.” The party said it remains supportive of De Lima as she is just doing her job as a lawmaker.
Referring to the senator, the party said: “She deserves support, not condemnation; respect, and not gutter language; she and our people deserve the facts, not innuendo.”