Press Release
May 2, 2017


Senator Leila M. de Lima released the following statement dated 30 April 2017 (Dispatch from Crame No. 76) after President Duterte renewed his attacks on the two major news organizations in the country, ABS-CBN and Philippine Daily Inquirer:

"This is an administration run on one man's personal vindictiveness, its policies purely founded on his desire to avenge what he considers as personal affronts against him.

"In the same way that his foreign policy of making the Philippines a satellite state of China is simply borne out of his personal need for long-term political survival in a world that is increasingly demanding his immediate criminal accountability, Duterte now threatens a government assault on the Inquirer and ABS-CBN for supposed personal slights committed against him.

"This is an old man at the helm of government but with an EQ of a six (6) year-old. He disregards constitutional principles of press freedom and democratic governance by a professional civil service corps just to satisfy his need for vengeance to avenge his being a victim of what purportedly amounts to a simple case of estafa, if at all, but by bringing the full force of government to bear on the supposed swindler, instead of simply filing a case in court.

"This is classic Duterte, where the personal becomes public policy. I am one of the very first victims of this President with the EQ of a 6-yr. old, when just because of my investigation on the DDS in 2009, a personal affront he never forgot, Duterte now as President ordered the whole government machinery to orchestrate the narrative that I am the country's 'number one drug lord'. I am now in prison because of this childish vindictiveness.

"So after the attacks on opposition figures like me, now comes the whole assault on press freedom, using the same full complement of the State's coercive power to bear on the unfortunate media establishments that he deemed to have stepped on his toes.

"Where the leader of government uses public resources to avenge himself for personal slights, that is the very characteristic of a tyrant and a tyranny. Beyond fascism, this is boundless monarchical entitlement drawn from the dark ages of kings of old, of invoking the divine power of life and death over whosoever crosses the king and incurs his personal ire.

"Off with his head" says the Red Queen of Alice's Wonderland. This is our own Wonderland now, and Duterte is our Red King.

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