MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima on Thursday criticized House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez for branding her a "serial liar" after she denied receiving P8 million form self-confessed drug lord Kerwin Espinosa.
De Lima said Alvarez and his allies should look into a mirror to "see who the real liars are." "Ang sa akin lang, bago pa man magsalita si Ginoong Alvarez, at ang mga kagaya niya sa Kamara at sa sangay ng Ehekutibo, subukan muna nilang humarap sa salamin, at makikita nila kung sino ang bastos, walang galang sa kababaihan, at tunay na mga sinungaling," she said.
Espinosa, in a testimony before the Senate inquiry Wednesday, said he gave De Lima P8 million in drug money through her former driver Ronnie Dayan.
De Lima branded the accusations as lies, telling the narcotics trafficker, "May God forgive you for all your sins and may God forgive you for all your lies about me and I forgive you."
Reacting to De Lima's statement, Alvarez, as quoted by Philippine Star said: "At bilib nga din ako kay Sen. Leila De Lima. Talagang magaling siyang magsinungaling. I think she is really a serial liar."
De Lima said Alvarez's pronouncement echoes that of President Rodrigo Duterte, who the lawmaker said has repeatedly humiliated her without evidence.
She pointed out that the allegations are based on the testimonies of drug convicts and personalities with ulterior motives.
"Malinaw naman na ang tono ni Ginoong Alvarez ay kapareho rin ng kanyang Mahal na Poong Duterte.
Naging bukambibig na nila ang husgahan at hiyain ako sa publiko kahit imbento lang naman ang kanilang mga ebidensya," she said in a statement.
De Lima said Alvarez has already deemed her guilty while legislative inquiries are still tackling her alleged links to the drug trade.
"Ipinapakita lang ng pahayag na ito kung gaano kakitid ang pag-iisip ni House Speaker Alvarez.
Pinapatibay din nito kung paanong nahusgahan na ako ng naturingang pinuno ng Kamara de Representantes, bago pa man ang sinasabing 'in aid of legislation' kuno na pagdinig sa diumano'y paglaganap ng ilegal na droga sa Bilibid," she said.
The House inquiry resumed Thursday with Dayan admitting that he received money from Espinosa. Watch the hearing hearing here.