Palace: Duterte’s tirades vs De Lima due to her ‘assumption’ he is linked to extrajudicial killings

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signs the Freedom of Information (FOI) Executive Order in Davao on July 23. Witnessing the signing are Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go (partly hidden), Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella. (MNS photo)

President Rodrigo R. Duterte signs the Freedom of Information (FOI) Executive Order in Davao on July 23. Witnessing the signing are Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence Go (partly hidden), Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar and Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella. (MNS photo)

MANILA, Aug 18 (Mabuhay) — A Malacañang official on Thursday said that President Rodrigo Duterte’s tirades against Senator Leila de Lima are rooted in her supposed assumption that the chief executive himself is linked to extrajudicial killings.

In a statement, presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella pointed out that Duterte understands that “public discourse has its dynamics and perimeters,” as exhibited in his previous exchange with the Supreme Court Justice Ma. Lourdes Sereno.

“However, he has taken umbrage with Sen de Lima’s approach, of not only taking the moral high ground with regard to drug-related deaths, but her assumptions that said deaths are directly attributable to PRRD’s War on Drugs,” he stated.

The newest word war started Wednesday afternoon in Camp Crame when Duterte hinted that a senator was linked to the narcotics trade through her driver who happened to be her lover. He said that the senator went to Davao City to investigate his connection to the so-called vigilante group Davao death squad and its violation against human rights.

Press to reveal the name of the human rights crusader in a news briefing later that afternoon, Duterte said it was De Lima.

The senator was set to conduct a senate probe on drug-related killings on Monday and asked Duterte to monitor the said inquiry.

“Apparently PRRD is appalled by Sen de Lima’s history for jumping to conclusions about the President’s culpability without sufficient evidence, lack of appreciation of the magnitude of the menace, and taking the opportunity to grandstand in spite of the gravity of the situation,” Abella ended his statement.(MNS)

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