THERE is really no dignity in using the Senate as a venue to destroy a president trying to rebuild a drug-infected country. Especially if the president is a popular one like Rodrigo Duterte who is fighting hard against criminals deeply imbedded in the protection of people in power.
Further allowing De Lima to head the Senate Committee on Justice and continue the politically motivated probe on extrajudicial killings would only spur confusion and disunity among Filipinos who are supposed to have only one enemy at the moment -- illegal drugs.
Very unfortunately for De Lima, she was tagged as a protector of illegal drugs and was even said to have reaped profits from doing so that’s why it was not difficult for her colleagues in the Senate to choose between her and the President.
In choosing to fire De Lima from her committee head post, the Senate did not only save its face but it also helped preserve a presidency determined to bring reforms in the country. While it is true that the Senate is an independent body with separate powers from Malacañang, there is nothing in the constitution that stops it from supporting a highly performing chief executive.
De Lima’s claim that the Senate lost its independence can be the cheapest form of sourgraping. It appears she simply could not accept the fact that many of her individually-minded colleagues find her unqualified for a committee chairmanship.
This could be traced to allegations that De Lima is masterminding a demolition job against the highest elected official of the land. A smear drive against a campaign for national recovery. A black operation against the future of our people.
How can we give power to such a public official? Why was she elected into the Senate in the first place?
Well, the House inquiry on illegal drugs resumed yesterday and seemed to have given more reasons for the Filipino people to regret voting for De Lima in the last elections and giving her a senatorial seat deserved by other worthy candidates.
During the hearing, a video was presented to show how really bizarre our penitentiary facilities were run by officials during the previous administration. It showed prisons turned into paradise for criminals supposed to pay for crimes and suffer the consequences of their misdeeds.
The clip also showed how convicts could run criminal operations from the inside and still commit crimes in the outside world, thus, severely compromising the safety of the public especially those who put them behind bars.
Drug money allegedly used to bribe prison and high government officials is seen as the reason why such is happening at Bilibid during the administration of President Aquino. And the witnesses in yesterday’s hearing said the money reaches De Lima who was then DoJ Secretary.
No wonder, the illegal became legal inside the Bureau of Corrections based on the words of witness Rodolfo Magleo, a fomer PNP chief inspector serving time at the Bilibid and has knowledge on the illegal drugs trade inside the prison facility.
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Now that De Lima has been defanged at the Senate, what happens now to her colleague and erstwhile partner in the demolition job against Duterte named Sen. Antonio Trillanes who bullied Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano in the last Senate probe on extra judicial killings?
Trillanes’ gestures against Cayetano were very unbecoming and reeks of political motives that made the Senate the subject of public ridicule.
The former military coup leader appears to have recognized the fate of De Lima and has reportedly apologized to Cayetano.
He can stop being a jerk after all.
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Cebu Rep. Gwendolyn Garcia was right. Confiscate all cellphones and other communication gadgets inside prison facilities to paralyze the illegal drugs trade. Is that difficult to do, DoJ?
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