Senator De Lima: "Truth is on my side" | The Summit Express

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Senator De Lima: "Truth is on my side"


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MANILA, Philippines - Senator Leila M. de Lima has claimed her innocence amid the relentless attacks and tirades by some quarters desperately linking her with the illegal drug trade in the country.

Senator De Lima: "Truth is on my side"
Sen. Leila de Lima. Photo Credit: CNN
In an interview with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, De Lima denounced what she believed to be an orchestrated demolition job against her in an attempt to distract her from pursuing a Senate investigation into the spate of extrajudicial and vigilante killings.



"I was warned that if I proceeded with the Senate inquiry, they would destroy me. Even if this is not really good for me, this is certainly bad for the President because I know what the truth is, and the truth is on my side," she told Amanpour.

"I take deep offense about those accusations hurled by no less than the highest official of the land. These accusations about me being a drug coddler, or a coddler of drug convicts, or even being involved in drugs, are so outrageous. It's an absolute lie," she added.

The former justice secretary maintained her stand in support of the on-going anti-drug campaign, but emphasized on ensuring the least number of casualties. She said that the scourge of killings could be prevented by fixing the criminal justice system.

"Yes, there are still a lot to fix in our criminal justice system. Let's fix the law enforcement. Let's make it more efficient. Let's train more law enforcers in the proper manner. Let's hire more prosecutors. Let's train more prosecutors," she said.

De Lima, who chairs the Committee on Justice and Human Rights probing the unabated spate of extrajudicial and vigilante killings, also said law and order in society is a long and arduous road that has no alternate routes.

"We need to reform the criminal justice system. There should be no shortcuts in trying to achieve law and order in our society," she said.

Mindful of the magnitude of the drug menace in the country, De Lima also said no amount of negative propaganda against her will stop the Senate invesgtigation on the spate of extrajudicial killings and summary executions done in the campaign against drugs.

"We have now more than 2,000 dead bodies in the name of the so-called war. Many of these are summary killings or extrajudicial killings. We heard about the official line that the 756 persons killed in police operations allegedly resisted. I do not for a second believe that," she said.

The next hearing will be on Sept. 5, 2016.

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