‘The Fiscalizer’ Senator Leila de Lima has made it clear, on Saturday, that she will continue to keep a watchful eye on President Duterte who has rightfully earned his nickname “The Punisher” for his crime-sweep efforts in Davao.
Now that she is in the legislative branch of the government and Duterte has also risen into the highest position in the land, de Lima vowed to remain vigilant with regards to the president’s campaign against crime and drugs. According to her, she will remain to be the protector of civil liberties in case of law enforcement excesses.
De Lima warns Duterte: I’m watching you
Photo grabbed from Rappler / Manman Dejeto and Leni Robredo Media Bureau
She sees herself as a fiscalizer especially to the anticrime efforts of the current administration.
“I know that this campaign of the administration resonates among a lot of our people as it truly laudable, but we must be constantly reminded that this should not be done at the expense of our civil liberties,” de Lima said.
Since the inauguration of the President, the death toll has gone over a hundred. With this, de Lima called for a congressional inquiry last Thursday regarding the sharp increase of drug killings and vigilant-style slayings.
Senators Antonio Trillanes IV and Francis Pangilinan have also expressed their willingness to take part in the investigation.
De Lime asserted that she will not sit idly and stay silent if she sees that the Bill of Rights is already being compromised in the course of the campaign on crime and drugs. “Somebody must speak out against any attack on our civil liberties,” she said in a text message.
She is remembered to have taken a strong stance during the investigation into the summary executions linked to the Davao Death Squad—a purge team of some sorts that is speculated to be controlled by the President.
However, the Department of Justice (DOJ) was forced to discontinue the investigation in account of lacking corroborating evidence, after the hitman who confessed left the state witness protection.
One time, Duterte fired back and told her to “shut up” warned her on picking a fight with him. He then threatened to file charges against her for the continued drug peddling inside the national penitentiary despite her consecutive raids.
Despite this, de Lima remains unfazed. She even said that she aims to “strike a healthy balance” between her support to the current admin’s campaign and her fidelity to the Constitution.
“I will always assert the supremacy of the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, and the system of checks and balances in our government,” she said.
De Lima is currently working on putting together her staff and is leaning to join, if not lead, the Senate committees on justice and human rights, and electoral reforms.
She has expressed her excitement to finally start her legislative work. She looks forward to acquainting herself with the inner workings in the Senate, particularly the administrative aspects of things.