Justice Secretary Leila De Lima will not ‘shut up’ just because Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte is running his “lousy mouth.”
The feisty Justice Secretary told Duterte on Monday to shut up after being criticized by the mayor for the slow process of finding ‘David Tan,’ the alleged rice smuggling mogul who has cost the government billions of pesos in revenue.
“Everybody is aware he’s got a lousy mouth,” De Lima said.
“What I can say is, do not worry, Mayor Duterte, we are working, and we do not need a reminder from you for us to do our job because we are always working,” she told the hard-nosed mayor.
De Lima was blasted by Duterte over a weekly radio program for “moving too slow” on building cases against ‘David Tan’ and accused her of being publicity-starved.
“Stop talking, and start working,” Duterte said.
“But what have you done?” he asked, addressing De Lima. “You failed to build a case because all you wanted was publicity, kung ganun kayo kahina…,” Duterte said.
Duterte’s criticisms came following the release of Davidson Bangayan, whom the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and De Lima claim to be one person in David Tan, who was arrested and soon released after appearing at the NBI office to clear his name.
De Lima said she is puzzled at Duterte’s claim that the NBI failed to link Tan with Bangayan.
“We are the ones who have been saying that our findings show that [Bangayan] is David Tan,” she said.
Duterte was warned by the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for making public statements that “send wrong signals” and “invite vigilantism.”
CHR chair Loretta Ann Rosales on Monday said she already ordered an investigation regarding the mayor’s threat against rice smugglers at a news conference in Davao on January 7.
“I want the smuggling of rice in my city stopped. If you do not stop, I will kill you,” Duterte said.
Once Duterte breaks the law, investigators are ordered to file charges before the Office of the Ombudsman, Rosales said.