Dispatch from Crame No. 712: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Reaction to Sec. Andanar’s Reference to her as “Sacred Cow”


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In response to a recent Forbes article reporting that the Philippines has become a more corrupt and less democratic state under Duterte, Andanar points out that there are no “sacred cows” under Duterte, and inevitably points to me as an example of a “sacred cow” who was arrested for corruption and criminality.

In his overly pathetic defense of Duterte’s dismal record insofar as curbing corruption and fighting criminality is concerned, Andanar reveals that he does not even know the definition of “sacred cow”. It comes from the Hindu tradition of holding the bovine species as holy and therefore should not be treated as the mere cattle that they are. Figuratively, it means someone who cannot be attacked or be the subject of legal action because a public official is beholden or indebted to said person.

By such definition, I can never be Duterte’s or this government’s sacred cow. I was never in alliance with this President. In fact, I am this President’s mortal enemy, the one who pursued him since his days as the leader of the Davao Death Squad and now as the head of a drug war bent on exterminating poor Filipinos.

For the education of Sec. Andanar, let me enumerate some of the real sacred cows of this administration. On top of the list are the President’s own son and son-in-law, who were implicated in the smuggling of billions of pesos of shabu. This was never investigated by any law enforcement agency, and merely resulted in the arrest of a warehouse caretaker.

Second is the infamous Nicanor Faeldon, under whose nose said tons of shabu were spirited into the country. He is also the same official who approved the premature release of Bilibid inmates, including drug convicts, using the GCTA Law. Again, no investigation or prosecution was conducted and no case was filed with the Ombudsman against this most incompetent and corrupt Duterte official.

Then of course there is former DOJ Sec. Aguirre, caught red-handed arranging the shake down of gambling lord Jack Lam for 50 million pesos, or probably more. Only his underlings were charged with plunder while he remains scot-free.

We can also mention the Tulfo siblings for their record heist of Department of Tourism funds in the millions of pesos. Up to now, the mastermind boasts in the face of Duterte that he will not return their heist. Again, no investigations and arrests.

So Mr. Andanar, your pathetic example of me as a “sacred cow” reeks of hypocrisy. You point your finger at me, while several Duterte relatives and officials are allowed to smuggle shabu, shake down syndicates, and steal public funds without Duterte lifting a finger. Let’s not forget also the political rehabilitation, under this regime, of some top plunderers who were rightfully prosecuted under the Aquino administration but judicially favored under Duterte.

This is Duterte’s dismal anti-corruption record, which is actually all about being pro-corruption insofar as his family and allies are concerned. ###

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