MANILA – The war of words between President Rodrigo Duterte and Senator Leila de Lima is far from over.
READ: Duterte's 'drugs matrix' tags De Lima, others
In his latest tirade against the Liberal Party senator, Duterte said if he were de Lima, he would hang himself.
''If I were de Lima, ladies and gentlemen, I'll hang myself,'' Duterte said, triggering cheers among his listeners in Tacloban City where he visited a cop who was injured during a drug operation.
''The innermost of your core as a female is being serialized every day. Dapat mag-resign ka. You resign," Duterte said, days after the senator pleaded him to stop picking on her.
READ: Furious de Lima slams Duterte 'drug matrix': Is this a joke?
But De Lima isn't quitting, as doing so would mean an admission of guilt from the numerous accusations of the president.
"Resignation at this point will be an admission of guilt and a sign of weakness. I'm neither weak nor guilty,'' she said.
Duterte earlier accused de Lima of allowing the continued operations of drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison under her watch as justice secretary. He said de Lima supposedly got drug money in exchange for this setup.
Duterte said the drug money was coursed through de Lima's alleged lover, her former driver Ronnie Dayan.
In a matrix he presented last week, Duterte claimed that Dayan received monthly payola (grease money) from former Bureau of Corrections chief Franklin Bucayo through a certain Senior Police Officer 1 Palisoc.
De Lima has denied the allegations and belied the existence of shabu laboratories inside the NBP.
READ: De Lima's birthday wish: Leave me alone, Duterte
She also debunked allegations that she bought a house for her former driver in Pangasinan.
The tiff between the two began when de Lima, as Commission on Human Rights chief during the Arroyo administration, started an investigation into Duterte's alleged role in vigilante-style killings in Davao City perpetrated by the infamous Davao Death Squad.