By: Tarra Quismundo - Reporter / @TarraINQPhilippine Daily Inquirer / 01:01 AM January 05, 2017
Senator Leila de Lima (left) and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre INQUIRER FILE PHOTOS
A combative Sen. Leila de Lima on Wednesday blasted Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre as a “despicable lying bastard” doing the bidding of his boss, President Duterte, as she denied his latest claim that she and fellow Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV orchestrated the September stabbing attack on convicted kidnapper and drug lord Jaybee Sebastian.
“Aguirre is lying. He is a chronic liar like his boss, and a Secretary of Justice without balls. What do you expect from a public official who fakes his own hair?” De Lima, who is perhaps the administration’s fiercest critic, said.
At a succeeding news conference, she heaped scorn on Aguirre, who has tagged her as a key player in the drug trade.
De Lima has repeatedly denied accusations that she had taken drug money from inmates at the New Bilibid Prisons during her time as Justice Secretary purportedly to fund her senatorial bid.
“It’s the new year, and it’s again the start of their lies. I’m afraid our Secretary of Justice is such a lying bastard, a despicable lying bastard. What is this again? This is laughable!” De Lima told reporters.
“Is Secretary Aguirre already taking fentanyl?” De Lima said, referring to the powerful pain killer that President Duterte had recently admitted to using.
De Lima said it was President Duterte and his “operators” who are behind the plot to intimidate Sebastian into testifying against her before the House committee on justice investigation into the Bilibid drug trade.
Sebastian appeared before the Lower House and testified that he had given a total of P14 million to De Lima’s campaign. In November, he filed charges of graft, bribery, ethical breaches and violations of the Anti-Torture Act against De Lima.
Sebastian followed a roster of high-profile Bilibid inmates who also testified against De Lima at the House probe. She accused the president and his men of ordering the stabbing and of torturing the inmates to force them to testify against her.
She hit Aguirre for failing to take responsibility for the Bilibid incident that happened during his watch, where inmate Tony Co was killed, while Sebastian and two other inmates were hurt.
De Lima said Aguirre “refuses to take responsibility for the stabbing of several high-profile inmates under his watch” despite having the powers to do so.
“Instead, he creates a convenient scapegoat in the person of two senators who were at least several kilometers away from the crime scene,” she added.
De Lima’s statement came on the same day that Aguirre said the suspect in the Bilibid incident, Tomas Donina, had told investigators that the stabbing was clearly meant to silence Sebastian allegedly on orders of an unnamed Navy officer.
Donina agreed to do it after the Navy officer promised he would be set free once President Duterte was booted out of power. He said he was assured that De Lima and Trillanes enjoyed overwhelming support.
Aguirre however said that the police has not filed a case because the convict’s statement was considered “hearsay.”—WITH REPORTS FROM GIL C. CABACUNGAN