AS soon as she took a stand against the rising cases of alleged extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, Sen. Leila De Lima put a target on her back. When she criticized the government’s bloody war on drugs, she was chastised.
Some lawmakers are now hell-bent on linking the senator to the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP). The former justice secretary is accused of receiving money from drug lords who have been conducting drug trafficking at the national penitentiary. To implicate her further, some congressmen are willing to destroy her character and reputation.
When De Lima’s former driver and lover Ronnie Dayan faced the House Committee on Justice last week, lawmakers pried on their seven-year relationship. The objective of the House inquiry was to determine De Lima’s alleged involvement in the NBP drug trade, where Dayan is accused of serving as her bagman.
Intimate details of their love affair were divulged as lawmakers asked about the “intensity” and “climax” of the relationship and even asking whether an alleged sex video exists. De Lima earlier admitted that she had an affair with Dayan. Dayan also confirmed having a relationship with the former Justice secretary despite being married.
Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez defended that this line of questioning is relevant to the inquiry.
“If you look at the whole picture, there is a connection because here is a woman pretending to be clean, righteous, graft-buster, crime buster. But here also are the allegations against her. How can you demolish her credibility?” Alvarez asked.
For her part, De Lima cried foul over the probe she described as “spectacle that diverts from more important issues” of the country.
“As a woman, it breaks my heart that my private life and personal relationship have become subject of the public and Congress’ ridicule. No woman, whoever or whatever she may be, whether a sitting senator or a humble secretary, deserves to be betrayed, to be treated with so much disrespect and without dignity before the public eye, by any man she is with or had a relationship with,” De Lima said.
The senator said she is ready to prove her innocence when her accusers bring their cases to the courts.
“May justice and truth prevail today and the days to come, as we sort out the truth from the lies that are easily weaved into this tall-tale narrative of a human rights and justice advocate turned drug queen. Regardless of the Goebbel’s playbook they are following, a lie repeatedly told can never become the truth. Instead, the truth revealed will set us all free from this madness that we should stop from becoming our new normal,” De Lima said.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has been asked to disbar De Lima over her illicit affair with Dayan who is a married man. The Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) said that De Lima’s public admission and Dayan’s testimony were enough to prove that the senator committed gross immorality that should warrant the cancellation of her license as a lawyer.
Furthermore, De Lima also faces a show-cause order to explain she should not be cited for contempt for preventing Dayan from attending the House hearing.
De Lima may be free from bars now, but not from the stigma. They say the truth will set us free. Will De Lima’s “truth” afford her the constitutional freedom she deserves or will it slap her with legal consequences?
Despite all the scathing accusations, the senator remains innocent until proven guilty. (AJPress)