In her efforts to extricate herself from the deepening hole of illegal drugs that she got herself into and in her struggle to clear and save herself from her alleged involvement in the corrupt business of the drug trade emanating from the very unlikely place, the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), embattled Sen. Leila de Lima is now vehemently denying that the Philippines is becoming a narco-state.
It was of course President Rodrigo Duterte who alarmingly declared that the election of former justice secretary Leila de Lima as senator has opened the doors for government to be turned into a narco-state.
But how else would one interpret it as de Lima has become the subject of investigations by the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the House of Representatives where witness after witness all have implicated her as having benefited from the proceeds of illegal drug trade which was ultimately used for her election.
“We have been plagued by this drug menace but we are far from being a narco-state,” de Lima said.
What an understatement and she thinks she continues to have the credibility to tell it to the Filipino people, when in fact she already has lost all her moral ascendancy to do it.
Duterte already knew ahead of time the covert participation of de Lima in the illegal drug trade and it was precisely for this reason that he announced the postponement of the synchronized barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) elections scheduled on October 31 because he was sure that as de Lima got elected by drug money, so would drug money be used to elect some unscrupulous barangay officials.
Perhaps it was also Duterte’s intelligence network in all levels of government that forced him to call for the postponement of the barangay and SK elections because in his latest list of public officials and uniformed personnel linked to the illegal drug trade there are, he mentioned, 5,000 barangay captains listed and what is even worse, according to him, is that there are 6,000 policemen included.
Indeed, you cannot discount the high probability that in the same area unscrupulous drug-supported local government officials and policemen are in cahoots with one another.
So how could de Lima, therefore, disclaim that the country is far from being a narco-state when she herself is a living example of what can become of a narco-state.
In fact only very recently police chief Jovie Espenido of Albuera, Leyte accused De Lima of receiving at least P8 million in payoffs before the May elections from Kerwin Espinosa, allegedly the head of the biggest drug syndicate in Eastern Visayas and son of Albuera Mayor Ronaldo Espinosa, who has been arrested on charges of possession of illegal drugs and unlicensed firearms while his son is at large.
It is good to hear what de Lima has to say about this accusation, but being a good lawyer, too, she has taught herself to deny everything, as she has been doing all these times that she has been under the spotlight.