Rodrigo Duterte said he has the “goods” on Senator Leila de Lima and that he will pace their release in a “killing me softly” manner.
"Yes, I have already, pero killing me softly," Duterte told reporters before singing a line from the classic Roberta Flack song Thursday afternoon in Camp Siongco in Awang, Maguindanao.
“She (De Lima) is an immoral person. You wait. May tatlong record pa. Ipasok ko muna ’yung isa,” he added.
Duterte earlier blasted De Lima for her "illicit affair" with her driver, whom he also accused of collecting money from drug lords detained at the national penitentiary. The President said he will use inmates and the senator’s driver-lover to testify against her.
The President added that his attacks against De Lima “is for public interest.”
“If you’re a public official, your life is an open book,” he said, stressing that De Lima created the scandal for herself such that she is the one to be blamed.
“I won’t talk without any evidence, I’m not like her,” he said.
The President bared that he has many witnesses who could pin down De Lima, “including her driver-lover” who, he said, was the senator’s bagman in collecting payoffs from convicted drug lords held at New Bilibid Prisons.
Duterte said he also did not go overboard in criticizing De Lima in his speech during the 115th anniversary of the Philippine National Police on Wednesday.
“I did not, but she did,” he added, explaining he was giving the senator a chance to defend herself. “She can have all the time in the world.”
He challenged reporters to “validate” what he had said against the senator and to investigate records at the Department of Justice (DOJ) and Commission on Human Rights (CHR), which De Lima previously headed.
“You want to know the truth? If I was lying, you can change me,” dared Duterte, adding that while De Lima hated scandal, “she knows she is a public official. She has scandal at the CHR, scandal at DOJ, and she’s talking about family?”
Duterte said De Lima talked about police summary executions even without evidence.
“She accuses the police of doing such things when policemen were getting killed [in anti-drug operations],” Duterte noted.