Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima today chided administration senatorial candidates Jinggoy Estrada and Francis Tolentino for mocking her to boost their senatorial bids for the upcoming May 13 elections.
At the sidelines of her court hearing on alleged inducement to disobedience to summons case she attended today (Feb. 27), De Lima added that Tolentino should come to terms with his own defeat and just focus on improving his second senatorial bid.
“Huwag nila ako gamitin sa pagpapasikat nila. Mga sinungaling sila. Anong natalo? Aminin niya [Tolentino], tanggapin niya, talo talaga siya,” she said.
During the hearing at the Quezon City Metropolitan Trial Court (MTC) Branch 34, De Lima’s former aide Ronnie Dayan took the witness stand but he refused to testify against the Senator without violating his constitutional right against self-incrimination. The charge against De Lima stems from the December 2016 case filed by Reps. Pantaleon Alvarez, Rodolfo Fariñas and Reynaldo Umali for the crime of “Disobedience to Summons” against De Lima. She was arraigned on March 13, 2017 after refusing to enter plea.
It may be recalled that during their campaign rally in Malabon City last Feb. 26, Estrada and Tolentino poked fun at De Lima and mocked her unjust situation inside her detention quarters at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
Tolentino repeated his oft-announced baseless claim of alleged massive fraud as the cause of his defeat in the 2016 elections. He however lost to De Lima with a margin of more than 1.3 million votes.
Last Feb. 4, De Lima has petitioned the Senate Electoral Tribunal to disclose the results of the concluded recount of ballots in the 25 percent pilot precincts included in Tolentino’s electoral protest which he has recently withdrawn.
Tolentino has been erroneously claiming of alleged fraud and irregularities as the cause of his loss in the 2016 elections despite garnering only 12,811,098 total votes as compared to De Lima’s total votes of 14,144,070, or a huge margin of 1,332,972 votes in De Lima’s favor.
Meanwhile, the former justice secretary maintained that comebacking senator Estrada should also stop blaming the political climate as the reason behind her continued unjust detention and start admitting his wrongdoings.
“Yung isa naman, aminin niya malakas ang ebidensya sa kanya. Kumapit lang siya kay Duterte kaya napalaya siya.” De Lima said, referring to Estrada, who is reportedly making nasty comments about her in every campaign speech he gives.
During the Aquino administration, De Lima lead the investigation of the multi-million pork barrel scam and filed plunder charges against Estrada along with then Senators Ramon “Bong” Revilla and Juan Ponce Enrile.
A known Duterte ally, Estrada was released from the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City after he was was granted bail in September 2017 following a three-year detention. De Lima, who is detained at the same facility in Camp Crame since February 24, 2017, is spending time in detention over trumped-up drug charges meant to silence her on her vocal criticism of the government and at the same time taint her reputation.