MANILA, Philippines — The tiff between Senator Leila de Lima and Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, triggered by his claim she and Senator Antonio Trillanes IV were behind the attempt on the life of jailed gang leader Jaybee Sebastian, showed no signs of dying down.
Friday, De Lima, citing âvery credible sources,â claimed President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the attack on Sebastian as part of efforts to force him to testify against her at the House of Representativesâ inquiry into the drug trade at the National Bilibid Prison.
âAng Pangulo mismo ang nag-utos niyan (The President himself ordered it), and implemented by his enforcers,â De Lima said.
âClearly, that’s one sure way of coercing Sebastian, et al, to testify and lie against me as they eventually did after (the) stabbing incident,â she said. âThey have the capacity and resources to do anything and everything, including downright criminal acts, in order to implement and consummate a presidential vendetta to destroy De Lima at all costs.â
The House probe, which saw high-profile convicts from the NBP saying De Lima had received kickbacks from convicted drug lords jailed at the penitentiary, was called after Duterte publicly accused her of links to the narcotics trade.
De Lima also said she expects more criminal cases to be filed against her, calling it part of a âcontinuing sagaâ of âmadness and prosecutionâ by the administration.
She also slammed Aguirre for enrolling acknowledged drug dealers such as Kerwin Espinosa in governmentâs witness protection program just to pin her down.
ââYung mga tunay na drug lords (at) convicts (The real drug lords and convicts), and these are big time criminals, are the ones absolved or to be absolved basta ba si De Lima ang makasuhan at makulong (so long as De Lima can be charged and jailed),â she said.
âWhat a travesty of truth and justice,â she said as she noted that âwe have not heard any moreâ about the bribery and extortion scandal that saw two associate commissioners of the Bureau of Immigration, both of them fraternity brothers of Duterte, sacked after they allegedly received millions of pesos from gambling operator Jack Lam.
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