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De Lima to Filipinos: Don’t let Duterte kill in your name

Sen. Leila de Lima on Thursday called on the public, particularly those who voted for President Rodrigo Duterte in the May elections, to remain vigilant of his administration's actions.

raelyn luchansky

In a forum on human rights and democracy at the College of the Holy Spirit in Manila, De Lima said one's vote is not consent for elected leaders, especially the President, to get away with questionable actions.

"You are not expected, or should be made to believe you're obligated to defend your elected leader's behavior after they assume power. Those acts are their own and you have all the right in the world to voice your objection," she said to a crowd of students from the host school, as well as its neighboring institutions in Mendiola.

"Don't let anyone make you feel that you are complicit to their crimes just because you exercised your right to vote. 'Wag ka pong maniwala na ang pagboto mo ay lisensiya niya para lapastanganin ang inyong mga karapatan at mas lalo na ang pumatay ay lumapastangan sa karapatan ng iba sa inyong pangalan," she added.

"Not in my name," she quoted someone as saying, then called on the audience to do the same.

In her speech, De Lima once again scored Duterte over the spate of killings related to the administration's intensive anti-drug campaign, including pronouncements he has made on the matter.

"[O]ne year ago, I would never have expected anyone to say, let alone get away with saying, 'My order is shoot to kill you. I don't care about human rights. You better believe me,'" De Lima said. "Okay. We believe you. Now what?"

"How exactly did you expect us to react to that oft-repeated statement of shoot to kill? As human rights activists, how do you expect us to react to such statements? Did you expect us to collectively shrug our shoulders in resignation, fold up our placards, call it a day and go home?" she added.

She went on: "If you expect people to respect and support you, give us something we can actually respect and support. The Filipino people's blind support for morally reprehensible acts, much less unlawful acts, is not ode to any leader by virtue of their election."

'President not above the law'

De Lima said that elected officials, even the President, was not above the country's laws.

"Now that the elections is over and done with, do you think the balance of powers have changed? No. They are still accountable to you. We, the public officials—especially the elected public officials, including the President—are still accountable to you. Not the other way around," De Lima said.

"Do you think you have surrendered your rights as against the president that you or the majority of voters voted for? A plurality is not even a majority, but simply a plurality? No," she added. "Why? Because the President, or because no President is above the law, much less above the Constitution."

She also said: "No President, no matter how many people voted for him, is above the people. Kahit diyos pa ang tingin niya sa sarili niya, siya po ay tao at tao ring haharap sa batas ng tao. Kahit ibinoto mo pa siya, o ibinoto natin." — By ROSE-AN JESSICA DIOQUINO, GMA News

De Lima to Filipinos: Don’t let Duterte kill in your name De Lima to Filipinos: Don’t let Duterte kill in your name Reviewed by Raelyn Luchansky on 11:18:00 AM Rating: 5

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