Detained Sen. Leila de Lima should just focus on “meditation and prayers” instead of “talking nonsense” regarding the recent bombing attacks in Mindanao, Malacañang said Tuesday.
Presidential spokesman Salvador Panelo made the remark following De Lima’s claims there was a failure in military intelligence that led to the spate of bombings in Jolo and Zamboanga that killed over 20 people and injured scores of others.
She also questioned how and where the intelligence funds were being spent while noting that said incidents are proof that terrorists are not afraid of President Rodrigo Duterte’s “gangster-like antics.”
Panelo slammed De Lima’s statement as “insensitive” and branded her as a “pathetic figure and a pitiful caricature” for her indifference to the soldiers.
“Instead of giving words of support to the ground forces in Mindanao and consoling the bereaved loved ones of those who perished in the bombing incident, which is the least she could have done, she opted to be indifferent if not callous to the military men who were killed in the line of duty as well as to the bravery of our soldiers who are ferociously hunting the terrorists and risking their lives in pursuing the barbaric criminals to bring them to justice,” the Palace official said in a statement.
“Her confinement has dulled her senses,” he added.
The spokesman likewise chided the senator for trying to gain public relevance by using the bombing attacks against the President and present him as inutile in protecting the people from terror threats.
De Lima, Panelo said, is “an irrelevant political entity” who has resorted to dishing out reckless and offensive rants against Mr. Duterte.
“She claims that the President cannot protect the people from the terrorists with his threatening words, forgetting that this is the same President who crushed the dreaded and ruthless ISIS and their local counterparts in the Marawi siege,” Panelo cited.
“This is also the same President who has declared a war on drugs, criminality and corruption and gained headway in all those fronts by his swift action and enforcement of the law, without fear or favor,” he added.
Panelo likewise defended the extension of the ongoing military rule in Mindanao, stressing that without martial law, the region would have been engulfed in more chaos and violence.
“Had not the President declared martial law in battling the enemies of the State, the entire Mindanao would have been in chaos with bombings and killings a daily occurrence,” he said.
Instead of dishing out tirades against Mr. Duterte, Panelo urged De Lima to just meditate and pray while locked up in her detention cell in Camp Crame so that “the goodness in her heart comes out in full bloom instead of seeing only the dark side in her dungeon.”