MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima, who is leading an investigation into the government's bloody war on drugs, said President Rodrigo Duterte's relentless attacks against her were motivated by "personal vendetta."
De Lima told CNN late Tuesday that the President could not forgive her for investigating the alleged vigilante death squads in Davao City when she was chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and Duterte was mayor.
Duterte stepped up his rhetoric against De Lima this week, saying she should resign and hang herself for tolerating illegal drug rings when she was justice secretary. He earlier exposed her alleged illicit affair with her former driver, whom he accused of collecting money from drug lords.
READ: Duterte's drugs "matrix" tags De Lima, others
''He has actually taken a personal vendetta against me because he has not forgotten when I was Commission on Human Rights chair and I led a investigation into the death squad,'' de Lima told CNN's "Amanpour."
De Lima said Duterte's anti-narcotics campaign was encouraging law enforcers to disregard human rights and due process. Duterte had promised to support policemen who will be accused of human rights violations.
''We have now more than 2,000 dead bodies in the name of the so-called war on drugs. Many of these are summary killings. We all heard abut the official line that the 756 killed in the course of police operations allegedly resisted. I don’t, for a second, believe that,'' she said.