For saying he has an “empty skull,” Solicitor-General Jose Calida on Wednesday dared Senator Leila De Lima to show her Bar examination score in Criminal Law and whoever has the lower score should resign.
“I hereby put a challenge to De Lima. She accused me that I have an empty skull. She was former Secretary of Justice, I challenge her to reveal her grade in Criminal Law during the Bar exams,” Calida said.
“If her grade is higher than mine, then I will resign as Solicitor-General. But if my grade is higher than hers, she should resign as senator of the Philippines,” Calida added.
Aside from saying that he has an empty skull, De Lima called Calida a “sycophant” after he labeled her as “Public Enemy Number 1” for deploring the unabated extrajudicial killings (EJKs) of suspected drug dealers and users.
“She accused me of calling enemies names (but) that is an appropriate epithet for her. The proliferation of drugs is the primary concern of our country and the main policy of the Duterte administration is to suppress drugs. But since she was responsible for the proliferation of drugs in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP), then she is public enemy number one,” Calida said adding that his new epithet for her is the “diva of drugs” in the country.
Calida passed the 1973 Bar examination with a perfect score in Criminal Law. De Lima, on the other hand, ranked 8th in the 1985 Bar examination.
Calida appeared before the Department of Justice (DOJ) as Tribune of the People, representing the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC) and Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala, former National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) deputy directors.
Calida’s appearance was opposed by De Lima’s lawyer Atty. Filibon Tacardon.
He said there may rise a conflict in the event the cases reach the courts.
But the DOJ panel led by Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter Ong said what is important in the preliminary investigation stage is that the complainant is present in the proceedings and ably represented by counsel regardless of whether it is the Office of the Solicitor General or private lawyers.