- Topacio mentioned De Lima’s name while trying to make an argument about drug dealers who deserve death penalty
- De Lima stood up and scolded Topacio for singling her out
- The senator denied she is a drug trafficker as alleged by Topacio
MANILA, Philippines – Senator Leila De Lima was furious after being made as an example of alleged ‘drug traffickers’ in the country who are currently facing charges filed by law enforcement agencies and other anti-crime groups.
At the Senate hearing on Tuesday for the re-imposition of death penalty, De Lima scolds Atty. Ferdinand Topacio for supposedly singling her out while trying to make an argument about jailed drug dealers being able to continue with their trades behind bars.
“Many drug traders although they are behind bars have shown that they are still capable of dealing in drugs which is why the VACC, the NBI and other agencies have filed cases for drug trafficking against Senator De Lima and other persons,” said Topacio, who is the legal counsel for group Volunteer Against Crime and Corruption (VACC)
“Now whether these charges are proven true or not, we don’t know. But the fact remains that these pushers have admitted before a congressional inquiry that they still deal in drug.” the lawyer added.
Immediately after Topacio’s statement, De Lima stood up and called out the lawyer for tagging her as a drug trafficker.
“Atty. Topacio here, while not in very expressed terms, just called me a drug trafficker. I want him to take that back,” the senator quipped.
But Topacio tried to reason out; saying the charges against De Lima remain allegations until proven true.
However, the fuming De Lima shot back: “Yes, but of all people, why single out only Senator Leila de Lima? I’m not a drug trafficker!”
“Bakit hindi mo pangalanan ‘yung mga tunay na drug trafficker? Ako lang ang kinakasuhan n’yo,” the senator added.
[Why don’t you name the real drug traffickers? Why only file charges against me?]
Senator Richard ‘Dick’ Gordon had to briefly suspend the hearing following De Lima’s outburst.