Manila Bulletin

Duterte’s advice to De Lima: Hang yourself

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President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday launched another scathing attack at Sen. Leila de Lima, saying she should hang herself in shame after being implicated in the drug trade and engaging in immoral behavior.

“If I were De Lima, ladies and gentlemen I’ll hang myself,” the President said during a visit to Tacloban City.

“Your life, hindi lang life, the innermost of your core as a female is being serialized every day. Dapat kang mag-resign. You resign. Sa pinapakita mo, you resign. Wala ka ng mukha,” Duterte said.

The President rebuked De Lima for not setting a good example to other women. “Anong ipakita mo sa mga babae? Follow me, sabihin mo? This is how to be a woman of the world?” he said.

Duterte has been flinging barbs at De Lima, who had tried to pin him to the vigilante killings when he was mayor in Davao City. He said De Lima had accused him of leading the socalled Davao Death Squad but failed to produce evidence.

He said he told De Lima that DDS actually stood for “Davao Developmen­t System” but she interprete­d it the wrong way.

Rejecting criticisms he was violating rights in carrying out the relentless campaign to ferret out drug personalit­ies, Duterte made clear that he has no desire to kill a fellow Filipino. “Sino ba gusto pumatay ng

kapwa mo? You think it’s easy to kill a fellow human being? You build a nation over the bones of your countrymen?” he said.

Last week, the President said De Lima’s political career was “finished” after he released a “matrix” that traced her supposed links to prominent government and police personalit­ies who run or protect a drug network inside the state penitentia­ry.

Duterte also railed at De Lima for proclaimin­g to a crusader for good government despite having an illicit affair with her married driver, who allegedly became her bag man for money collected from drug operators.

De Lima has strongly denied the President’s allegation­s.

Earlier in the day, the President conceded that De Lima could not be forced to attend a congressio­nal inquiry into the alleged narcotics trade at the New Bilibid Prison.

“You cannot compel anybody, not a senator,” Duterte said during his visit to Samar where he attended the wake of a policeman slain in an anti-drug operation.

“If she refuses, you can cite for contempt but the problem is she has immunity for the time being. She is a senator and Congress is in session. But nobody can force anybody just to be there to bear witness to what’s going on,” he added. (Genalyn D. Kabiling)

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