MANILA – Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday lashed out at what she believes was a “veiled threat” from President Rodrigo Duterte. In a speech in Malacañang on Monday, Duterte mentioned De Lima’s name as he again denied ordering policemen to kill outside the bounds of the law.
“Sabi ko, totoo ‘yang kanila because iyan ang sinasabi nila. And that is a one way of protecting. Basta sumunod lang: Go out and hunt for them. Arrest them if still possible, if not then --- if they present a danger to you, put up a violent resistance, jeopardizing your life, shoot.
That has always been my order,” Duterte said. “Magtanong ka ng isang pulis dito kung may sinabi ako na ‘patayin mo ‘yang si De Lima o patayin mo ‘yang si ano.’
I never ordered. Ang sinabi ko lang… Remember that I declared war. I did not declare any just police punitive action. No, no, far from it.” De Lima told reporters Tuesday that she considers Duterte’s latest statement as a veiled threat against her.
"If something happens to me, he is the one responsible,” De Lima said. De Lima also said she is set to file a petition for a writ of amparo before the Supreme Court because of the supposed threats against her, not just from the President, but from Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Solicitor General Jose Calida, and members and officials of the the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption.
De Lima said the threats to her life have prompted her security team to carry out certain measures, but added she is not yet inclined to take the offer of Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III to provide additional security for her.