A teary-eyed Senator Leila De Lima on Wednesday, August 17, faced reporters barely an hour after President Rodrigo Duterte attacked her in his speech before the Philippine National Police and their guests in Camp Crame.
“May nagsabi na sa akin, ngayon lang (Somebody told me just now). It’s very surprising. Alam mo first reaction ko ngayon, ayoko na patulan ‘yan (You know, my first reaction is not to dignify it). It’s so foul. It’s character assassination,” said De Lima.
“Very bad timing. I don’t know kung ano po agenda nila na (what else is their agenda that) they’re resorting to character assassination. That is a very clear case of character assassination. I did not expect the President to do that. Sa totoo lang (In all honesty),” she said.
Despite the attacks, De Lima said she would not back down from the Senate probe into the recent spate of drug-related killings linked to Duterte’s fight against criminality.
Hindi po. ‘Di po ako matitinag (No, Sir. I will not be swayed)
“Pareho naman po kaming propesyonal, pareho rin po kaming public servant so sana ‘di na ho siya nagreresort sa ganyan sa mga foul means. To me that’s very foul. Saan man nanggaling ‘yang impormasyon na ‘yan sana dinouble check. Sana inaalam ang source. That’s really foul. Ayaw ko talaga i-dignify ‘yan,” De Lima said.
(We are both professionals, we are both public servants so I hope he would not resort to those foul means. To me, that’s very foul. He should have double checked the source of the information. He should have determined the source. That’s really foul. I don’t want to dignify that.)
(This post was originally appeared in Rappler.com, featured image via screengrab from Rappler video)