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Sinking credibility

Due to their clear partisanship and their penchant for obtaining their information mainly on what the now political opposition feeds them, their credibility is at an all-time low.

Ninez Cacho-Olivares

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Detained Sen. Leila de Lima, who keeps on portraying herself as a political “martyr,” has found yet another United Nations (UN) special rapporteur to highlight herself and her “prison plight.”

UN rapporteur Dubravka Šimonovic, who obviously relies on whatever the political opposition feeds her and her colleagues, reportedly called on the Philippine government to protect politically-involved Filipino women from any form of abuse, harassment and violence by “influential leaders.”

Not surprisingly, De Lima quickly took advantage of the call, saying that she fully supports the appeal on the Philippine government to protect women leaders in the country who are at the receiving end of attacks simply because they refused to be cowed by despotism.

As usual, De Lima is again into spewing more lies. She knows she is certainly not detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center due to her having been under verbal attack and her refusal to be cowed by such attacks. Nor is she unprotected despite her being under detention.

Truth is her freedom of speech has certainly not been curtailed. She obviously has electronic communications gadgets as she immediately has a reaction to whatever is reported, which the media constantly publishes and airs.

Leila certainly knows why she is today detained, and not even in a city jail, but instead in a safe police camp, as she knows it is certainly not because, as she puts it, she refuses to be cowed by despotism, but because she stands accused, and in three separate courts of law, of conspiracy in drug trading.

However, as Leila likes to paint herself, albeit unsuccessfully, as a political martyr, unjustly detained under the regime of Duterte, she keeps on repeating her tired, old tale of her being innocent of the charges, which doesn’t quite fly with the general public, especially since during her time as her yellow patron’s Justice secretary, she certainly ensured that the political foes of the then Palace tenant were detained for years on end due to their being at the end of political attacks.

Leila even went to the extent of coaching witnesses to get the political charges against well-known then opposition senators whom her yellow patron considered as “political threats” and political foes.

To charge them, Leila, who ruled the Justice department, as well as the New Bilibid Prison whose prisoners were allegedly her partners in criminal activities, came up with trumped up charges against the senators.

For someone who keeps on wailing about her being a political prisoner and complains about her long stay in detention, she really comes off as a political hypocrite, which should also go for these so-called UN special rapporteurs who never gave a damn about the political persecution of the then opposition senators, nor even of an earlier woman president who was also detained on charges of plunder for six years, while joining Leila in her hypocritical portrayal of herself as a political martyr and an “innocent” to boot!

So, where were these special rapporteurs when these then political foes of the yellow president, Benigno Aquino, were charged and detained for years? Where were their calls to protect “politically-involved” Filipino women, in the case of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, from any form of abuse, harassment and violence by “influential leaders?” Or male political prisoners, for that matter?

Why just concentrate on politically involved women and not concentrate too on politically involved men from any form of abuse, harassment and violence by the then “influential yellow leader?”

And where were the so-called Filipino human rights group when Arroyo, Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla were charged and detained for years? Do these human rights groups — both local and international — only focus on their accused political allies, such as Leila and her yellow patron and their allies?

As Šimonovic said: “Under international obligations, all persons in their respective roles should be protected against such types of verbal abuse and attacks that are coming with respect to their specific role.”

So, where were their voices then, when Leila and her yellow patron, along with the then selective and partisan Ombudsman, were the very ones who were into verbal abuse and attacks and by the so-called rights groups, the yellows, Reds and the unholy whites against Aquino’s political foes and his well-known vindictiveness? They ruined their political foes’ reputation with false charges.

This is the problem with these UN rights rapporteurs and other human rights groups here and abroad. Due to their clear partisanship and their penchant for obtaining their information mainly on what the now political opposition feeds them, their credibility is at an all-time low.

As for Leila, she has the nerve to state thus: “Let’s not allow officials like Mr. Duterte, who views women as forces that threaten his hold on power, to continue bullying us. Let us stand and fight for the dignity of women and respect for everyone.” This only shows her hypocrisy.

And her hypocrisy is galling. Leila had never fought for respect for those political foes she detained for years and she never fought for their dignity  — men or women.

If Leila doesn’t have the public sympathy today, it is because she showed no sympathy towards her political victims when she was in power and position.

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