Sen. Leila de Lima on Wednesday said pinning the blame on her over the proliferation of drug trade during her stint as Justice secretary will not solve the problem.

In a statement, De Lima said such mindset is a "fantasy that the Duterte administration has been weaving," adding that it is frightening that "high-ranking public figures" seem to believe it.

She said the proliferation of illegal drugs in the Philippines is a systemic problem that "will not be solved by forming a lynch mob to gang up on a scapegoat."

"It's saddening and frightening that even high-ranking public figures have swallowed hook, line and sinker the fantasy that the Duterte administration has been weaving: that a single person was single-handedly responsible for the proliferation of drugs in our country, and that it took place only over the course of my term as Secretary of Justice," she said.

"It is frightening because buying into that fallacy exposes us to the dangerously myopic oversimplification of the problem, which will prevent us from truly solving it because we can't even admit that the problem is systemic," she added.

De Lima also said the problem "will not be solved by denying facts, including about the source of the drugs that flow into our country and complicity of law enforcers on the ground—the very same law enforcers who are now given a license to kill and plant evidence on those killed."

"You can call me the High Priestess of all that is evil and corrupt all you want, but repeating it will not make it true, or succeed in ferreting out the true problems and real, lasting solutions to solving them. It will not change the fact that people are dying either," she said.

De Lima issued the statement a day after her colleague, Sen. Grace Poe, said "it is just right that she accounts" for how the problem of illegal drugs allegedly flourished during her stint as Justice secretary.  

The neophyte senator is a key figure in the investigations conducted over the proliferation of drug trade, particularly inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP).

De Lima, accused of of receiving drug money that funded her senatorial campaign, has repeatedly denied such, amid the testimonies of drug personalities in Bilibid, alleged Visayan drug lord Kerwin Espinosa, and her former driver-bodyguard Ronnie Dayan.

She also maintained that President Rodrigo Duterte, who she has staunchly criticized, is out to have her removed from office.  Rose-An Jessica Dioquino/VVP, GMA News


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