'Sisingilin ka namin': De Lima announces reelection bid, blasts Duterte's unfulfilled promises

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jul 21 2021 11:05 AM | Updated as of Jul 21 2021 03:42 PM

MANILA (UPDATE) — Detained Senator Leila de Lima confirmed Wednesday she is seeking reelection in the 2022 national elections, saying she will demand an accounting of President Duterte's unfulfilled campaign promises. 

In a letter addressed to Mr. Duterte ahead of his sixth and final State of the Nation Address on July 26, De Lima said her unjust detention for the past 4 years has strengthened her resolve to fight for her advocacies. 

"Mahigit na apat na taon mo na akong ipinakulong para maitago ang iyong pagka-inutil, bukod pa sa paghihiganti mo sa akin. Mahigit na apat na taon na ipinagkait mo sa akin, sa aking pamilya, at sa labing-apat na milyon na bumoto sa akin. Mahigit na apat na taon na akin ngayong sisingilin sa pagtatapos ng iyong termino,” she said.
 
She added: "Tatakbo akong muli. Hindi ako susuko. Tuloy ang laban. Sisingilin ka namin sa anim na taon na pambabalasubas mo sa aming bansa."

De Lima, one of Duterte's fiercest critics, has been detained since Feb. 24, 2017 over alleged links to narcotics syndicates. The senator has denied the charges, saying her incarceration was meant to silence her. 

In her letter, De Lima lambasted Duterte’s failure to address corruption and accused the President of operating a "mafia government" after several of Duterte's allies were accused of corruption. In particular, she cited a PCIJ report that showed construction firms owned by Sen. Bong Go's family had won multibillion-peso government projects since Duterte was mayor in Davao City.

Go has denied allegations that he profited from the contracts. 

 

"Kabaligtaran ang nangyari. Pinagpiyestahan ninyo ang kaban ng bayan. Walang hiya-hiya, walang pakundangan. Bumukol kung bumukol. Wala kayong pakialam," she said. 

She criticized the President's drug war, saying it only targeted small-time drug dealers while failing to go after big-time drug lords.

In particular, she said Duterte failed to arrest suspected drug lord Peter Lim who is accused of supplying narcotics to the so-called Espinosa drug group in Regions 7 and 8 in 2013 and 2015. 

The President earlier identified Lim as the Visayan member of the drug triad in the Philippines.

 
"Pagkatapos ng limang taon, at libo-libong mahihirap na iyong pinapatay, wala kang maipakitang resulta. Talamak pa rin ang droga. Sa katunayan, hanggang ngayon may mga nahuhuli pa rin sa iyong mismong siyudad ng Davao, kung saan dapat pagkatapos ng ilang dekada ng paghahari ng iyong pamilya ay wala nang suliranin sa droga,” De Lima said.
 
 “Ako na ang tanging kasalanan ay magsalita laban sa EJKs ay nakakulong, samantalang ang mga tulad ni Peter Lim na may Warrant of Arrest sa pagiging big-time drug lord ay hindi mo man lang kayang ipaharap sa korte at hustisya,” she added.
 
She also criticized Duterte for failing to defend the country’s territorial integrity by kowtowing to China. 

 
 “Wala naman siguro talagang tumanggap nang literal sa iyong pangako na mag jejet-ski ka sa mga isla sa Spratly. Ngunit umasa ang taumbayan na ipaglalaban mo ang Pilipinas laban sa pang-aabuso at pambabastos ng Tsina,” she said.
 
 “Sa iyong pangako na iyon, malayo sa isip ng taumbayan na ikaw pala ay magiging tuta lamang ng Tsina. Na sa kabila ng pang-aabuso sa ating mga kababayang mangingisda at pagkamkam ng Tsina sa ating teritoryo at pangisdaan, ikaw pala ang magiging pinaka-masugid na tagapagtanggol ng dayuhang manlulupig. Isa ka palang traydor sa iyong sariling lahing Pilipino.” 

PALACE REACTS

Malacañang spokesman Harry Roque denied De Lima’s claims of political persecution as he reminded her that she is in prison because of drug charges, and not because of politics.

"Wala pong political persecution. Alam naman ni Leila de Lima bilang abogado that she's not accused of politically-related crimes. Akusado po siya because of heinous crime of drug trading, drug pushing and drug trading. Wala pong politika diyan," Roque said.

Asked to comment on De Lima’s 2022 run, Roque said: "Kung tatakbo po siya, that's her right hangga't hindi pa siya convicted with finality. Sana hindi siya ma-convict with finality bago dumating ang eleksyon."

—With a report from Pia Gutierrez, ABS-CBN News
 

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