Sen. Leila de Lima (Photo from her Facebook page)
“Kahit ang totoong bully ay walang iba kundi ang kanyang Katay Digong.”
[Among bullies, the real bully is none other than his Katay Digong.]
This was the retort of Sen. Leila de Lima to Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar, who last Saturday hit the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) for announcing that it would send observer to the trial of the senator, who had been charged for allegedly being involved in illegal drug trading.
Andanar branded IPU’s recommendation a “classic example of bullying” and an effort “to meddle” into the country’s affairs.
“Their intent is not to merely observe De Lima’s trial by our laws but to meddle in our democratic as well as judicial processes,” Andanar said.
De Lima said a trial observer should be part of democratic and judicial processes.
“Isa na naman itong paandar ni Andanar,” De Lima said in a statement posted on her Facebook account. “Kung sa bagay, ano ba naman ang aasahan natin kay Andanar at sa amo nya sa mga usapin ng ‘human rights’ at ‘rule of law’,” she said in a statement.
The senator also tagged President Rodrigo Duterte as the “true bully.”
“In the balance of power relations and of control over the state apparatus of terror and violence, Duterte and his cohorts have the monopoly,” she said.
“With their consistent and persistent pronouncements and public demeanor that enable a climate of disorientation, despotism and death (translated into more than 13,000 EJKs, persecution and vilification of dissenters, narrowing of democratic spaces, and widespread fake news), the bully here is definitely not the IPU, not the democratic opposition, not the media, and not the growing numbers of Filipinos and various local and international groups clamoring for the restoration of decency in government, democracy in society, and dignity of the Filipino,” De Lima added.
The senator also stressed that the IPU is a “neutral third party” that would want to make sure the legal proceedings in her case would not be subjected to tampering.
“IPU is not the bully here,” she said. “It is a neutral third party that wants to make sure the legal proceedings in the trumped-up cases against me are safe from further machinations of Duterte and his minions, the real bullies,” she said.
De Lima has been detained since Feb. 24 at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City because of charges filed against her at the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court. /atm
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