MANILA –Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II on Tuesday said that Senator Leila De Lima’s tirades against President Rodrigo Duterte are totally baseless and have no factual basis.
”Totally baseless! Bereft of any factual basis. I just try to understand where Senator de Lima is coming from. She is under a lot of pressure lately. People in her situation can easily make accusations unfounded they may be. I try my best to understand her. All I can do now is to pray for her,” Aguirre said in a statement commenting on the lady senator’s press conference at the Senate.
”As a former Secretary of Justice, Senator de Lima should know that the real battle is in the courts. She should do the fighting there, answer all the charges against her there and present credible evidence in her defense there and not in a press conference,” Aguirre added.
Aguirre also said that the allegations hurled by De Lima against the President are all rehashed.
He also pointed out that if De Lima, a former Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and Justice Secretary, was aware of the purported extrajudicial killings by the so-called Davao Death Squad, she should have filed raps against the President who was then Davao City mayor.
”Even the timing is suspect, why come out only now? Is somebody diverting the public’s attention from what is to come? One cannot help but ask these questions,” Aguirre asked.
He also tagged De Lima’s statements as fictional.
“When a person quotes from Batman, a fictional character, it places in doubt the veracity of her statements. If Batman is fictional, her statements are also fictional. They are like the statements of Edgar Matobato and of SPO3 Lascanas, all make believe like Gotham City,” Aguirre stated further.
“Just a piece of unsolicited advice to her, from someone she referred to as a mediocre lawyer, she should be careful about her statements, she was already inciting to sedition earlier,” he noted.
For his part, Solicitor General Jose C. Calida said De Lima’s statements make her sound as an “arrogant and abusive official”.
“Senator De Lima’s latest tirades against President Duterte and the government clearly show why she is the high priestess of hypocrisy. She should stop acting like a vacuous victim and crybaby. My unsolicited advice to her is face the charges with equanimity and dignity befitting a senator,” Calida said in a statement.