De Lima blames Duterte for ouster

  • Senator Leila de Lima points to President Rodrigo Duterte as the one behind her ouster
  • The female senator was kicked out as the Senate Committee on Justice’s chairperson
  • The move comes after the controversial statements against Duterte issued by de Lima’s key witness last week

Senator Leila de Lima pointed to President Rodrigo Duterte for her removal as the chairperson of the Senate committee on justice, which leads the probe into extrajudicial killings.

“Lalo nagngitngit ‘yun nung narinig niya mga sinabi ni Mr. Matobato. Bagama’t medyo tahimik ang ating pangulo, napapansin n’yo na parang walang reaksiyon, pero alam ko po na meron silang kung paano nila ginawa, at ginagawa para nga po tuluyan akong ipitin,” de Lima was quoted on Politico.

[He grew more irritated when he heard what Mr. Matobato said. Even though he is relatively silent, if you will notice he had no reaction, but I know that they did something, how they did it and what they are doing to keep me out.]

Last Thursday, de Lima presented the controversial key witness who testified that Duterte ordered several killings when he was mayor of Davao City. Matobato claimed that he was among the notorious Davao Death Squad. The President has not responded to the allegations since.

On Monday, September 19, de Lima was ousted as the committee chair upon the vote of 16-4 from the Senators present. She was replaced by Senator Richard Gordon.

“Wala pong duda diyan katulad ng gagawin sa akin sa House bukas sa pagsimula ng House inquiry tapos eto na naman na numbers game. Majority ang nag-oust sa akin bilang chair ng Committee on Justice, walang duda na meron ngang kinlaman ang ating Pangulo,” the female senator added.

[There’s no doubt in that, just like what they will do to me in the House tomorrow when the House inquiry starts, then it’s the numbers game again. Majority ousted me as chair of the committee on justice, no doubt that the President has a say in that.]

Both the majority blocs of the Senate and the House of Representatives are mostly composed of members and allies of the Partido Demokratiko-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban), Duterte’s party.