MANILA — Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Leila M. De Lima said on Wednesday that Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte can insult her all he wants but she cannot be stopped from talking about summary executions and the Davao Death Squad (DDS).
De Lima earlier said that Duterte should be held criminally liable for thousands of summary executions in Davao City.
The DOJ chief issued the statement after Duterte, in a television interview, said that he has links with the death squad. However, Duterte clarified on Tuesday that his statement was meant to challenge his critics.
Duterte said that he could also go personal on the Justice chief.
He added that if De Lima files a case against him, he will waive preliminary investigation on the condition that De Lima will execute an affidavit.
“I would love to cross-examine her,” he said.
He added that De Lima has the tenacity of accusing him of extra-judicial killing when she failed in cleaning her own backyard, specifically the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).
However, De Lima said that “he can continue to insult and vilify me for all I care.”
“I cannot be threatened and cowed by anyone! I will not stop saying what I want and need to say on the issue of summary executions, in general, and on DDS, in particular,” she added.