- Senator credited president’s will to end the illegal drug trade
- However, she’d rather the gov’t files cases against those he publicly named quickly
- She said this Duterte’s name-shaming would just be a witch hunt if not backed by evidence in court
MANILA, Philippines – Airing her thoughts on President Rodrigo Duterte’s announcement naming several local officials as involved in the illegal drug trade, Sen. Leila De Lima said it is hard to judge his style especially since the public seems to approve it.
“To be honest, it’s difficult to pass judgment on the style of the President, especially that a great majority of our people seem to approve of this naming and shaming strategy,” the Philippine Daily Inquirer quoted her as saying.
De Lima also praised Duterte’s “strong will and great determination” to end the illegal drug trade and said she is leaving it to his wisdom on how to carry out his strategy.
“If the President thinks it’s an effective strategy, then who are we to dictate on him. His strong will and great determination to end the drug problem deserve high praise and credit.”
At the same time, however, she urge the administration to quickly file cases against those whom Duterte named to give teeth to his allegations over his name-and-shame campaign. Without hard evidence to back up his claims in court, she said his announcements would be viewed as a witch hunt.
“Having said that, as a student of constitutional law, let me express these thoughts: If there is evidence against these people he has named and shamed, cases should just be filed against them so that warrants for their arrest can be issued. If there is no evidence, then this is a plain and simple witch hunt,” she said.