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Duterte tags De Lima for slander in linking him to slays


President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday identified Senator Leila de Lima as the human rights crusader who had repeatedly "slandered" him in connection with alleged extra-judicial killings.

"You want to know the name? De Lima," he said in a press conference in Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 on Wednesday.

Duterte said De Lima once vowed that she would prove that Duterte, who was the former mayor of Davao City mayor, was involved in extra-judicial killings in the city and to the vigilante group Davao Death squad.

Duterte said he was still waiting for De Lima to prove her claim.

"Akala niya siya ang conscience of the country... P----- i-- mo, hanggang ngayon naghihintay ako niyan... I kept quiet because you are a lady," Duterte said.

‘Driver, lover’

Earlier in the day, Duterte spoke of a senator, whose driver allegedly collected money for her during the campaign.

He also linked the unnamed lawmaker to illegal drugs.

"And here is a senator complaining. When one day I will tell you that her driver... who was also her lover, was the one also collecting money for her during the campaign," Duterte said in his speech at the PNP's anniversary in Camp Crame.

"Here is a woman who funded the house of her lover and yet we do not say any complaint about it. Those money came readily from drugs. The intercept between Muntinlupa and the driver were far beyond, making sure that somebody was involved,"  he added.

Duterte then sounded like he would take back the allegation but still pressed on.

"In fairness, I will never say here that the driver gave the money to her but from the looks of it, she has it," Duterte said.

‘Character assassination’

Speaking to reporters during a Senate session break, De Lima found Duterte's remarks "surprising."

"Ang first reaction ko lang, ayaw ko nang patulan yan. I don't want to dignify that. It's so foul. It's character assassination," she said.

De Lima's voice was cracking when she addressed Duterte's comments on Wednesday.

"Pareho po naman kaming propesyonal ng pangulo. Pareho kaming public servants so sana hindi na ho siya nagre-resort sa ganyan na foul means. To me that's very foul,"  she said.

‘I will destroy her’

Duterte last week said he would eventually "destroy" one of his critics.

"You know I was the whipping (boy) of the NGOs [non-government organizations] and the human rights stalwarts. But you know I have a special ano kay ano," Duterte said in a press conference in Davao City, when the issue on his drug war was mentioned.

"She is a government official. One day soon bitiwan ko iyan in public and I will have to destroy her in public," he said.

Duterte, however, did not name who was talking about. He even refused to give a clue.

"That's the riddle there. Hintay lang kayo. Akala nila hindi rin ako nakikinig sa kanila," he teased. —NB, GMA News

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