MANILA: Senator Leila de Lima on Tuesday called on the Cabinet to declare President Rodrigo Duterte incapable of performing the duties of a Chief Executive, calling him the “the number one criminal in the Philippines, if not the world.”
The Philippines news portal Inquirer said De Lima, who is facing trial for drug charges that stemmed from allegations first made by Duterte, also urged the public to speak out against questionable policies of the administration.
She said people should not be blind about what she described as his abusive regime, including purported state-sanctioned killings of drug suspects.
“To the members of the cabinet, you can save our country from a criminal President through declaring that because of his criminal mind, he has no capacity to perform the duties of a President,” she said.
De Lima called Duterte a “murderer and sociopathic serial killer,” citing the revelations that SPO3 Arturo Lascañas made on Monday, baring how he had committed murders as member of the Davao Death Squad (DDS), allegedly on orders of the then Mayor Duterte.
Lascañas’ narration was a turnaround from his earlier statements at a Senate inquiry on drug deaths, where he had denied revelations made by Edgar Matobato, another confessed DDS assassin. He said he was stricken by his conscience to finally tell the truth.
“With Lascañas’ revelations, there is no more doubt that our President is a murderer and a sociopathic killer,” she said.
De Lima also expressed doubts over the state of the physical and mental health of the President, who is turning 72 in March and the oldest in history to take the post.
“Why don’t they disclose the state of his physical health? That goes into the mental health of the President,” De Lima told reporters.
As to the public, De Lima posed a challenge: “Lend your voice. Lend your voice of outrage [for] what’s happening in the country.”
She clarified that she was not calling on people to go to the streets to express dissent, but that she only hopes that those who have been silent would finally speak out.
“Now is the time to make a stand and rise up in the face of a criminal dictator and a repressive regime,” she said.