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‘He did the same to me’: De Lima reacts to Duterte’s threat vs Trillanes
Sen. Leila de Lima on Monday says the threats against her and fellow critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV are character assassinations from the Pres. Rodrigo Duterte, saying the president will "destroy" anyone who opposes him and his family. STAR/Geremy Pintolo, File
MANILA, Philippines — President Rodrigo Duterte will “destroy” anyone who opposes and exposes him and his family for what they are.
This was the statement of Sen. Leila De Lima on Duterte’s threat to his critic Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV—“I destroy him or he will destroy me”—noting a similar threat was issued against her.
“The only way Duterte can counter his son’s drug links is by killing the messenger. That messenger is Sen. Trillanes,” De Lima said on Monday.
Over the weekend, Duterte threatened to expose Trillanes’ several offshore bank accounts and alleged hiring of hundreds of consultants after the latter accused presidential son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo Duterte, and son-in-law, Manases Carpio, of having several bank accounts containing hundreds of millions of pesos.
The younger Duterte and Carpio were linked to the illegal drug smuggling controversy in the Bureau of Customs.
Duterte, however, dismissed the claims as “garbage.”
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“He has been at it against me, my son and my family since election. The campaign period is over and I thought all the while, politics is just like that,” the president said.
De Lima, moreover, said Duterte’s attacks against her and Trillanes were character assassinations.
“In this sense, nothing distinguishes the Dutertes from the Ampatuans, What they fall short of physical assassination, they make do with character assassination. Not that they are incapable of the former. God knows they are,” she said.
De Lima added: “They bully the smaller kids but when the smaller kid hits back, they run to the teacher with lies. This is not the president we deserve, one who cannot take what he dishes out.”
Last year, Duterte vowed to “destroy” De Lima, who had ordered a Senate probe into the killings related to the government’s “war on drugs.”
He also said De Lima “will rot in jail” for accepting bribes from drug lords and allowing the proliferation of narcotics at the Bureau of Corrections.
‘Do the same’
The detained lawmaker added that the president’s threat against Trillanes is “both desperate and hollow.”
Trillanes on Monday signed bank secrecy waivers, allowing the Office of the Ombudsman and the Anti-Money Laundering Council to scrutinize the foreign bank accounts he allegedly owns.
He also challenged Duterte’s family to do the same. During the hearing on Customs smuggling and corruption, Paolo and Carpio refused to sign a waiver opening their bank accounts for scrutiny.
“I will destroy your fabricated information, but with the truth,” Trillanes said.
“Senator Trillanes has accepted Duterte's challenge and is executing a waiver. After more than one year of Trillanes' own challenge, the Duterte family still refuses to execute their own waiver. It's not difficult to tell who is hiding something here, and who is telling the truth,” De Lima said.
“Why be shy now Mr. President? Show your billions. Or are they already safe in China for safekeeping, while you sell our islands and the patrimony of this country to the Chinese?" she said.