Senator Leila de Lima is guilty of drug-related charges, President Rodrigo Duterte claimed yesterday, adding fuel to the roaring bonfire of unsubstantiated accusations by going on to claim that she also filmed herself having sex with her accomplice, her former driver Ronnie Dayan.
Duterte made the allegations during a speech at a military camp in Quezon City, rehashing rumors that he first made back in 2016 when he accused de Lima of extorting money from convicted drug lords in order to fund her election campaign, an accusation that landed her in detention — just after she opened a Senate investigation into Duterte’s bloody drug war. The money, Duterte claimed, was collected by Dayan from the convicts.
During the height of the scandal, the House of Representatives even floated the possibility of showcasing de Lima’s purported sex tape in one of its hearings, claiming that it would help them know if Dayan and de Lima were really in cahoots. They never did, and Senator de Lima — whose marriage has long been annulled — categorically denied that it was hers. She has also denied that she extorted money from inmates, and says the accusations were the president’s way of getting back at her for her Senate investigation.
De Lima has been detained since February 2017, and yesterday was her 1,000th day in jail, prompting renewed widespread calls for her release.
The president said last night that members of the opposition party and the Left have claimed that de Lima is a prisoner of conscience, but insisted that she is not.
“The greatest insult I have received from people, [is that] they refuse to understand that [the allegations against] de Lima are true and accurate,” Duterte said. “They took the line of the Left that she is a political prisoner. On my oath as president, I’m telling you, [the accusation] is true.”
“She really did collect money. Why? She was not into [any] business but ambitions can blind you. That is why you need money to run for senator. You need billions [of pesos] to do that. She does not have any business. I have not heard that she owns a mall. Where do you get the money when you run? And that started everything.”
But what appears to have scandalized Duterte even more is that De Lima — a single woman — has a sex tape (or so the president claims). He even said he has a copy of it.
“She allowed herself to be filmed having sexual intercourse with her driver, who was the collector. And that picture has been making the rounds. You saw it all. Can you really believe a woman like that?” Duterte said.
“She was then the justice secretary. If you want, I’ll give the disc to you. Look at the way she slurped after doing it and her favorite doggy was walking around [the room]. Maybe she’ll tell us those are fake. Well, she can submit it to any expert if she wants.”
Duterte’s allegations cropped up again after de Lima’s supporters placed an advertisement yesterday in the newspaper The Philippine Daily Inquirer which urged the Philippine government to free the jailed senator. The statement of support was signed by 300 personalities, including Vice President Leni Robredo, former President Benigno Aquino III, Commission on Human Rights Chairman Chito Gascon, human rights lawyer Rene Saguisag, several members of the European Parliament, and Philippine senators Franklin Drilon, Risa Hontiveros, and Francis Pangilinan.