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June 25, 2018 - Unjust Judges Monday of the Twelfth Week in Ordinary Time Father Edward McIlmail, LC   Matthew 7:1-5 Jesus sa...

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Leila de Lima’s statements in her CNN interview were unfair to the Philippine police

There are Filipinos whose actions can be considered treacherous. In their obsession to stay in power, they will do anything, including destroy the reputation of the Philippines with the international community.
Take the case of Senator Leila de Lima. In her recent interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, De Lima not only was critical about President Rodrigo Duterte’s policy on illegal drugs, she also undermined the members of the Philippine police force. When Amanpour asked her what she thought of the police’s defence that some of those who were killed during police operations resisted arrest, De Lima did not hesitate to say “I do not, for a second, believe that”. Her statement was irresponsible and outrageous.
Even without the results of police investigations, De Lima already gave her own verdict against the police based on her own gut feel. What kind of lawyer is she? She should have been disbarred a long time ago. It’s too obvious that she is just trying to save her own ass since her reputation is already in tatters. She doesn’t deserve to be a senator. Instead of looking out for the men and women in the police force who work hard for very little pay and benefits, De Lima badmouths them before the international community.
De Lima’s beef with President Duterte is getting out of control. In De Lima’s desperation, she is seeking the help of the international community to bring Duterte down. She doesn’t care anymore if there are other casualties in the process. She knows – since she was the former Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary – that there is a real threat the Philippines could turn into a “narco state”, but she still continues to throw accusations that the government’s war on drugs is violating the human rights of drug lords and dealers. A lot of people are wondering when she is going to cry foul over the deaths of helpless victims of drug-related crimes. She seems more concerned about the fate of lowlifes who wreak havoc in Philippine society.
I am actually surprised there are women who look up to De Lima. She seems to have become a champion of the women’s activist group GABRIELA. They see her as a courageous woman who soldiered on even after Duterte’s attacks and especially after he divulged her alleged affair with her former driver at the DOJ. A GABRIELA member called me out on Twitter for being critical of De Lima. She insinuated that being a woman, it is wrong for me to put down another woman. To which I replied, I do not discriminate. I call out irrational behaviour coming from both men and women. The members of this women’s group are acting irrational themselves for expecting me to go soft on someone just because of her gender. They are the ones being discriminatory.
De Lima will definitely not get a pass from me since she had been irrational since former President BS Aquino put her in his cabinet. De Lima had acted like his attack dog for six years. Besides, I don’t think she is an authority on human rights since she herself violated other people’s human rights in the past. It’s worth mentioning again how De Lima violated former President Gloria Arroyo’s rights:
We recall that there was pandemonium at the Manila international airport in November 2011 when Department of Justice Secretary Leila De Lima panicked after she found out Arroyo was leaving the country and ordered officers at the airport to help bar her from leaving for Singapore. And with the assistance of the media in inciting anger against Arroyo, some members of the public also joined the fray – besieging her at the airport. Her frail and helpless appearance on a wheelchair did not stop them from acting like a lynch mob. The scene resulted in a standoff because Arroyo’s supporters insisted on her right to travel abroad as stated in the Philippine Constitution.
De Lima’s initial violation back then was in defying the Supreme Court’s temporary restraining order on the travel ban against Arroyo. De Lima even risked disbarment for ignoring the highest court’s order. Senator Miriam Santiago likewise questioned De Lima’s action citing the DOJ had no legal basis to issue a watch-list order against Arroyo since there was no pending case against the former President and was only a respondent in a joint DOJ Comelec investigation on electoral fraud at that time.
Senator Leila de Lima: Not an authority on human rights having violated these herself as DOJ Secretary
Senator Leila de Lima: Not an authority on human rights having violated these herself as DOJ Secretary

I don’t see De Lima as a champion for women’s rights either. She comes across as someone who uses her position to get what she wants. Some say that perhaps her former driver didn’t have a choice but be intimate with her for fear of losing his job. If what they are saying is true, she is definitely someone young women shouldn’t emulate. De Lima also bullies other people. That is behaviour that both men and women shouldn’t pattern themselves after. Bullies like De Lima are actually weak deep inside. They mask their weakness by putting others down.
It’s quite disturbing that someone like De Lima is in a powerful position. Her endless yakking in front of the media is not helping the country move forward. She seems to be trying to divert the public’s attention from the fact that she was too incompetent to deal with the country’s drug epidemic as DOJ Secretary and how, while she held that office, drug manufacturing thrived inside the country’s main penitentiary, The New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa. Senator Alan Peter Cayetano was right in saying she kept using the term extra-judicial killing too loosely considering she issued a set of guidelines that makes clear what constitute as one. The killing of suspected drug dealers is not covered by the definition stipulated on those very guidelines.
Indeed, De Lima’s self-serving actions should be investigated. The country doesn’t need someone who would rather look good while ruining the country’s standing in the international community and destabilising the current government.

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