MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila De Lima on Thursday expressed worry over her safety after being the subject of the recent inquiries held by the House of Representatives' Committee on Justice linking her to the alleged New Bilibid Prison drug trade.
“I’m now a subject of persecution and I am no longer safe, I don’t feel safe. The truth is, I’m not safe,” an emotional De Lima said in a televised press conference at the Senate. De Lima doubted if she could rely on the Philippine National Police, National Bureau of Investigation and Armed Forces of the Philippines to give her security, saying she does not have a choice. “They're violating my rights — security, right to privacy,” she added. During the first day of the House Committee on Justice's probe, De Lima’s mobile number and home address were disclosed by some of the witnesses. De Lima cried foul against the public disclosure saying she has been receiving threats since.
De Lima showed some of the 2,000 text messages of harassment and name-calling that she said were sent by fanatics and trolls of President Rodrigo Duterte. Some solons however defended the public disclosure of her number and address saying these were part of the testimonies. The senator was also reported to be absent in the Senate session on Wednesday since she was looking for a new house. Asked if she already found a house replacement, De Lima refused to disclose any information as it might further expose her to danger. However, she said she is now in a temporary home, stressing that her and her neighbor’s safety were compromised. “I have to temporarily leave my house. I’m now in a temporary place of abode,” De Lima said.
“And hindi lang ako apektado because I live in a subdivision, so kahit may guards apektado ‘yung buong subdivision so they're now taking extra steps, extra security measures. So, that’s an added burden on the subdivision na nadadamay lang sila because of me,” she lamented. Due to this, De Lima said she is mulling on filing charges against those involved in the public disclosure of her mobile number and home address. She, however, said she has yet to focus and attend to personal matters as there are other pressing matters. “Yeah, I’m contemplating on this. If fact, sa dami kasing nangyayari ngayon and then itong ginagawa sa akin na panggigipit araw-araw tumitindi yung panggigipit sakin, I hardly have time and energy anymore to be thinking about myself and to be thinking about my next moves but certainly I’m mulling over several legal actions,” she confirmed, adding that these charges include the writ of amparo and habeas data.