De Lima to Duterte, toughie politicos: I’ll be watching you

“THE Punisher” wannabes should watch out for one of the “Three Furies.”

Local government officials who are resorting to vigilanteism and other extrajudicial means to curb the illegal drug trade should expect summons to appear before Senate inquiries, Senator-elect Leila de Lima warned on Wednesday.

The former Commission on Human Rights (CHR) chair lamented that the controversial stance of presumptive President-elect Rodrigo Duterte in dealing with drug personalities has spawned the likes of Tanauan City Mayor Antonio Halili, who has ordered the so-called “walk of shame” of arrested criminals in his city.

“(Duterte has) emboldened similarly minded local officials to implement their own anti-human rights policies,” De Lima told the INQUIRER.

De Lima, dubbed by INQUIRER editors as among the “Three Furies” along with Ombudsman Conchita Carpio Morales and former Commission on Audit chair Grace Pulido Tan, warned Duterte and other toughie politicians that she would be a “watchdog” in the Senate.

“Now that I will be part of the Senate, that part of me as a human rights advocate and defender would play a very important role in discharging my duties as member of the Senate,” she said, adding:

“I will fight those [kinds] of policies. My exposure in the (CHR) would come in very handy. I will be a watchdog.”

Duterte, who is on his way to becoming the 16th President, has earned the title “The Punisher” for his rather questionable approach in resolving the drug problem and other forms of criminality as mayor of Davao City.

He had previously admitted to being part of the notorious Davao Death Squad, a group of vigilantes which had owned to the murders of dozens of suspected criminals in Davao.

Incoming Cebu City Mayor Tommy Osmeña had also taken a similar bold step when he offered a P50,000 reward for policemen who would kill major drug personalities in the city.

But De Lima said such policy was a clear violation of the constitutional right to presumption of innocence of suspected criminals.

She said the Bill of Rights also assured individuals facing criminal cases of protection under the law.

“I just hope they would be able to find, arrest and put to shame big-time drug lords and not just the ordinary drug pushers,” she said.

“They may be truly drug pushers, but it’s not the mayor who should make that judgment. It’s only the courts which could do that,” she continued.

Source: Inquirer

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