MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte is disputing Senator Leila de Lima's depiction of herself as a "prisoner of conscience," as the lawmaker continues to languish in detention over drug-related charges.
In an interview on state-run television that aired Friday evening, Duterte said De Lima deserves what she is going through now.
“‘Di ka na nahiya na magpalabas with the “prisoner of conscience?” Alam mo, totoo sa totoo lang, prisoner ka sa l***g mo. Diyan nag-umpisa lahat ‘yan eh, your adulterous relation. Do not blame anybody,” Duterte claimed.
(Aren’t you ashamed calling yourself a “prisoner of conscience”? The truth is, you are a prisoner of your lust. That’s where it all started, your adulterous relation. Do not blame anybody.)
Duterte was referring to De Lima’s relationship with her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan, who claimed to have received drug money on her behalf.
The President was asked to react on the Supreme Court’s decision to junk the senator’s plea for her release and dismissal of the drug charges against her.
Duterte said groups should not call for the senator’s release because the charges against her are valid.
De Lima said she will appeal the high court’s decision, lamenting that the decision “decision tells us the extent to which Dutertism has distorted reason, suppressed the truth and rejected the primacy of conscience.”
She has rejected allegations against her, claiming she had been locked up to stop her from criticizing the administration's war on drugs that has seen thousands of suspected criminals killed.
Malacañang has denied that the opposition senator was being subjected to political persecution.