Dear Sen. De Lima: re your exhortation, and I quote:
“You are not expected, or should be made to believe you’re obligated to defend your elected leader’s behavior after they assume power. Those acts are their own and you have all the right in the world to voice your objection.”
“Don’t let anyone make you feel that you are complicit to their crimes just because you exercised your right to vote. ‘Wag ka pong maniwala na ang pagboto mo ay lisensiya niya para lapastanganin ang inyong mga karapatan at mas lalo na ang pumatay ay lumapastangan sa karapatan ng iba sa inyong pangalan.”
I do not feel compelled to defend my President, right or wrong, Senator. I do, however, feel compelled to defend my country from your ill-disguised attempt to oust a duly elected leader.
And I would like the freedom to call out my President were it not for the fact that I know you would use it, mercilessly, to install a leadership more disposed to looking the other way about the sins of your past — and I am speaking here solely of the crimes you may have committed.
So you see, you do human rights and the rights of women a disservice. You have made these principles hostage in your attempts to stave off incipient criminal cases. You have made them strategic initiatives. Because, seriously? You don’t believe them yourself.
While Secretary of Justice, women were trafficked into Bilibid and complaints were filed by family members of inmates who were visiting them. At the House hearing on Illegal Drugs and Accountability, every time an inmate would speak about what went on they would use the word, “babae” and I would flinch. Because they spoke of these trafficked women as commodities, like the drugs, and other amenities offered to favored denizens.
While Secretary of Justice you saw it fit to disobey an order from the Supreme Court yet have the gall to insist now on the rule of law and due process. And you weren’t above the Aquino naming and shaming campaign either.
Are you really concerned about the dead, Senator? Are you really pro-women? Because right now, all I see is that you are pro- De Lima.
So yeah, I will defend my President as against your naked attempts to oust him from his position. And while I reserve the right to call him out on his mistakes, I will defend him first from the likes of you.