After being ousted as chairman of the Senate Justice Committee, Leila De Lima is, predictably, playing the victim card, claiming that she no longer “feels safe”…
De Lima said she was not confident whether Philippines security agencies would protect her.“Can I rely on the government and (Philippines National Police) for safety or (National Bureau of Investigations) for my security? Can I rely on the (Armed Forces of the Philippines) to give me security? What is my choice?”
But in issuing a blanket indictment of all of the Philippines’ state security and law enforcement agencies, De Lima merely puts up a mirror to her own face. The Philippines’ police and National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), after all, constitute components of a system that De Lima was, herself, a key part of — over the term of her former boss, former President Benigno Simeon ‘BS’ Aquino III and even beyond that in various posts in previous governments.
It may fly right over De Lima’s head but it is ironic that De Lima would not trust a system that, for six long enough years, she had every opportunity to reform.
Now, as a Philippine senator, De Lima has even more opportunity at her disposal, this time as a legislator whose job it is to craft laws and propose improvements to existing laws. But what is De Lima doing with her precious time as senator instead? We’ve been seeing it all on TV and on our social media timelines in recent weeks. De Lima chooses to waste her taxpayer-funded time in the Senate to organise these circuses and perform tele-dramas before the cameras.
To begin with, it is hard to see what aid to legislation the probe into those alleged “extrajudicial killings” (EJKs), will deliver. Is De Lima going to take ownership and follow through with a legislative agenda that takes into full account what lessons (if any) are learned from her EJK probe? That remains to be seen. Many observers doubt that there is any bigger purpose to De Lima’s EJK probe beyond it being a mere channel through which anti-Duterte rhetoric is broadcast.
The trouble with Yellow camp politicians like De Lima is they remain disinclined to shedding their now-tired old penchant for painting the police as the enemy and the Establishment as a usual suspect. That sort of stance sounds ok when one only has street rallies as a means to exert influence. But when one is a Philippine Senator (or even, once, a Justice Secretary), making demons of state forces and state institutions becomes moronic at best. As Senator, De Lima should act the part — that of a Philippine Government official.
Her latest stunt, inviting the United Nations to investigate EJKs and demanding that Malacanang accede to this — what is tantamount to a meddling in Philippine domestic affairs by an international body — is nothing short of an affront to the mandate granted to her by the Filipino voters…
De Lima’s resolution said the call for the investigation by the United Nations came amid perceptions “that our local institutions of law enforcement and justice, including domestic mechanisms of accountability of public officials appear to be either inadequate, compromised or weak.”She said the Philippine National Police and the National Bureau of Investigation “cannot be expected to even initiate—much more sustain—an independent investigation into the killings.”
De Lima should ask herself this confronting question: Whose fault is it that things are today as she had described above? Most Filipinos know the answer. And it is that knowledge of the answer to that important question held by a big enough section of the electorate that catapulted current President Rodrigo Duterte to power in the 2016 elections. It’s time De Lima and her ilk learn how to handle The Truth.
[Photo courtesy ABS-CBN News.]