MANILA, Philippines — The government will soon file cases against two of President Rodrigo Duterte’s staunchest critics — senators Leila de Lima and Antonio Trillanes IV.
On Wednesday, Duterte said charges would be slapped on De Lima in connection with the Disbursement Acceleration Program (DAP).
“But she has a case coming up also sa DAP. Ito, I could not believe, really, kasi kami mag-usap-usap, grabe itong babaeng ‘to, talagang kapal…[because we we’re talking, this woman did too much, she was really thick-faced],” the President said during the awarding of government workers in Malacañang on Wednesday, September 20.
The DAP was implemented during the Aquino administration supposedly to speed up public spending without Congress’ approval, but was declared by the Supreme Court in 2014 as unconstitutional and violative of the doctrine of separation of powers of the executive and legislative branches.
On February 24, De Lima, a member of the Liberal Party and Duterte’s top critic since he was mayor of Davao City, was arrested and detained after drug-related charges were filed against her by the Department of Justice.
Before her arrest, De Lima, as chair of the Senate Justice Committee, led the Upper Chamber in investigating Duterte’s alleged involvement in extrajudicial killings through the vigilante group Davao Death Squad (DDS), which the President allegedly formed while he was Davao mayor.
In 2009, when De Lima was still CHR chief, she likewise led an investigation into summary killings also allegedly perpetrated by the DDS.
Also last Tuesday, during an interview with PTV, Duterte accused Trillanes of benefitting from DAP funds.
“Saan pala ‘yong kinita mo sa DAP [Where are your earnings from DAP]? ‘Yong [The] DAP case is coming up,” the President said.
The President’s latest threats against Trillanes came after he accused the senator of hiding wealth in banks abroad, including in Singapore.
Earlier, Trillanes linked the chief executive’s son, Davao City Vice Mayor Paolo “Pulong” Duterte, and son-in-law, Manases “Mans” Carpio, to drug smuggling and corrupt activities at the Bureau of Customs.
On Tuesday, Trillanes went to banks in Singapore where he allegedly had hidden accounts, according to Duterte.
After proving that he had no secret bank accounts in Singapore, Trillanes reiterated his challenge for Duterte to sign bank secrecy waivers so the President could also prove that he’s innocent and incorruptible.
The same day, during a television interview, Duterte admitted that he “invented” at least one bank account number that he had attributed to Trillanes.
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