An emotional Senator Leila de Lima has asked President Rodrigo Duterte to stop his personal attacks against her, following his exposé that she was allegedly having a love affair with her driver who supposedly was also handling drug money for her.
During a press conference on Thursday, the known Duterte critic initially expressed her bewilderment on the matter before reading her speech.
"Hindi po ako lalaban, hindi ko po kayang labanan ang Pangulo na unang-una hindi ko nga po alam kung ano ang kasalanan ko sa kanya," she said.
De Lima then proceeded to her prepared speech, which, according to her, she had second thoughts on presenting in public due to the possible repercussions.
"Words cannot express what I'm feeling right now," she began. "I guess no one can, because no one has been attacked in such a manner by no less than the highest official of the land, until now."
"How does one defend oneself when the attacker is immune from suit and has all the backing of executive power to support him in his personal attack? This is no less than abuse and misuse of executive power."
De Lima also asked Duterte to keep her inner circle out of the political mudslinging and personal attacks.
"If you are bent on destroying me, Mr. President, please have the decency to spare my colleagues, friends and family. Wala po silang kasalanan sa inyo," she pleaded.
Despite everything that has happened, de Lima stated that she will not back down from her duties as a senator. "If this is his way of stopping the Senate's investigation on the extrajudicial killings, he can try until he finally silences me or the Senate. But I think it is already clear that what is being done to me is what will happen to anyone who does not bow to the wishes of the president."
This development comes after Duterte vowed that he will destroy in public one of his female detractors who currently holds a government position, whom he later revealed was the neophyte lady senator.
Here's Sen. de Lima's full speech:
Romantiko ka man o sawi, walang pinipiling manonood ang '100 Tula Para Kay Stella'
Where to go if you hate people
This is your chance to get high
Admit it, you're both attracted and terrified of these women
Or how to actually be healthy and keep it that way