MANILA- Senator Alan Peter Cayetano has criticized Senator Leila de Lima in a privilege speech on Monday for supposedly "damaging the image of the country."
Cayetano accused De Lima of destroying the integrity of the Senate and the country after she led an investigation where a self-confessed hitman of long-time Davao City Mayor and now President Rodrigo Duterte surfaced.
"Senator De Lima, in her desire to destroy the President is destroying the integrity and reputation of the Senate. Worse, damaging the image of the country and the people worldwide," Cayetano said.
He also accused De Lima of "refusing to be neutral" as chairperson of the Senate Justice committee and for bringing in Edgar Matobato, who he said has questionable credibility.
"The root cause is ginagamit kasi yung committee not to go after a factual finding on extrajudicial killings but to go after the president and in effect--wittingly or unwittingly--nasisiraan 'yung buong bansa," Cayetano said.
He said, the de Lima-led hearing is being used to mislead the international media, which in recent weeks have been reporting on the human rights situation in the country.
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''They are giving an impression that we are not a civilized people, that we are not a modern people with strong moral values and just because our president is popular and just because we're fed up, we'll just kill them all (criminals)," Cayetano said.
De Lima, who was seen leaving the Senate hall during Cayetano's speech, admitted that she walked out because she "can no longer stand it," and will deliver her own privilege speech Tuesday.