CLICK TO READ
Solicitor General Jose Calida labeled Senator Leila De Lima as the Patron saint of narco-politics and Public Enemy No. 1 for her alleged destabilization efforts against President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs.
In a news conference in Manila, Calida vowed to use the powers of his office to back the cases filed against the former justice secretary.
"Senator De Lima should not be left to her own devious devices. High priestess of hypocrisy. Patron saint of narco-politics. Public Enemy No. 1," Calida said during the launch of the multi-sectoral Coalition Against Illegal Drugs on Monday.
"I am invoking the power of the Solicitor General as tribune of the people. In order to strengthen their resolve, I will lend the prestige and gravitas of my office to help them in their cases," he added.
De Lima is currently facing criminal complaints before the Department of Justice and the Office of the Ombudsman over allegations that she received money from drug lords inside the New Bilibid Prison and self-confessed drug dealer Kerwin Espinosa for her senatorial campaign.
She repeatedly denied the allegations which the senator said stemmed from her harsh criticisms of President Rodrigo Duterte's campaign against illegal drugs.
The war on drugs has been blamed for thousands of unsolved killings of drug personalities.
De Lima declined to dignify Calida's threats and name-calling.
"I'd rather not dignify such yet another of lunacy on the part of those evil forces. They're as unhinged as their principal (President Duterte)," De Lima said in a statement.
The Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) is mandated to represent the government, its agencies and instrumentalities and its officials and agents in any litigation, proceeding, investigation or matter requiring the services of lawyers.
Calida was one of the signatories to the manifesto put forward by COIL, a multi-sectoral group composed of the Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), Citizen's Crime Watch, United Filipino Seafarers and Conform Federalism.
In the manifesto, the coalition called on De Lima to face the complaints against her and "let justice take its rightful course without her blatant maneuverings and evasive tactics that are stalling the process."
"Jointly, we call on the senator to simply go home to her country and face the music. It is the most she can do to salvage what is left of our criminal justice system whose credibility is being mocked through her utter arrogance," the coalition said.