De Lima: Duterte using me to cover up treachery

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 24 2017 06:52 PM

Senator Leila de Lima and President Rodrigo Duterte. Composite

MANILA – Senator Leila de Lima on Friday blasted President Rodrigo Duterte for using her as a “cover-up” for his supposed treacherous acts and other blunders.

“Ano man ang ibato nya sa akin, na pawang mga kasinungalingan, ay hindi magiging katumbas ng pagtraydor at pagbenta nya sa ating bansa sa Tsina,” De Lima said in a letter written from her detetion cell.

“Ginagamit lang ako upang pagtakpan ang katraydoran nya sa ating bansa at ang iba pang kapalpakan ng pamahalaan na ito.”

The president recently drew flak for his response to reports that China was planning to build on Scarborough Shoal in the disputed South China Sea. Beijing has belied the reports.

Duterte also downplayed sightings of Chinese ships on Benham Rise.

The president’s response to the Chinese incursions on Philippine waters is a “dereliction of duty”, said the Magdalo group of Senator Antonio Trillanes IV, a Duterte critic.

De Lima said Duterte has forsaken the Philippines by cozying up to China despite the latter’s repeated violations of Manila’s sovereignty.

“Ang ating mga teritoryo at pag-aari sa karagatan na pinaglaban ng ating mga ninuno, at kinilala ng Arbitral Tribunal at the Hague, ay binebenta naman ng namumuno ngayon. Ginagamit lang ako upang pagtakpan ang katraydoran nya sa ating bansa at ang iba pang kapalpakan ng pamahalaan na ito,” she said.

In a speech on Friday, Duterte accused De Lima, Trillanes, and Vice President Leni Robredo of being behind a plot to oust him.

“Look, mag-prangka tayo, they want me ousted? Who’s behind it? Itong si Trillanes. Sundalo, mas mabuti pang security guard dito and his help. Sinong isa? Si De Lima. Gusto na niya akong paalisin. Wala naman akong ginawang exhibition,” he said.

“Pangatlo si Leni, eh natural kasi bakit pa siya maghintay kung nandiyan ‘yung opportunity. Barilin na lang iyan si ano.”