MANILA – Senator Leila de Lima on Friday said the disbarment complaint filed against her by Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) founding chair and others is part of President Rodrigo Duterte’s "circus."
“This is all part of a circus. And just like in all circuses, clowns are part of the amusement,” De Lima said in a statement.
“For the part of Dante Jimenez, I could only shrug my shoulders in utter dismay at how he brings down with him the integrity and credibility of the anti-crime group he heads. Mr. Jimenez is a creepy clown with a horrible dark mask, obsessed at being in the headlines instead of finding out the truth and justice for the thousands of victims of unresolved drug-related killings in our country.”
Jimenez, former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) officials Ruel Lasala and Reynaldo Esmeralda, and whistleblower Sandra Cam filed a disbarment case against De Lima before the Supreme Court’s Office of the Bar Confidant.
The complainants said De Lima must be disbarred for gross immorality, violation of the Lawyers’ Oath and the Code of Professional Responsibility because of her alleged affair with her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan and involvement in the illegal drug trade.
De Lima has denied allegations she coddled drug lords at the New Bilibid Prison in exchange for bribes. De Lima has not yet denied the supposed affair with Dayan, but said the latter was “very close” to her.
De Lima said Cam, Lasala and Esmeralda obviously are getting back at her.
She said the two former NBI officials, “having been removed from the NBI during my incumbency as SOJ for questionable practices,” are all just being used by Duterte, who she said is the “master puppeteer.”
“They are also using Duterte's obsession with my destruction to enable themselves, by currying favor with the President, and in doing so attempt to stay relevant despite the banality of their role in all of this circus. The role of the three can be more accurately compared to the circus act of performing monkeys,” she said.