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President Rodrigo Duterte said the problem with Sen. Leila de Lima was she had very high ambitions as early as a decade ago when she went from being an election lawyer to a government official.

“I was the favorite whipping boy of de Lima because she wanted to make it big. Lumaki kasi ang ulo niya kaagad when (then President Gloria Macapagal) Arroyo appointed her as the chairman of Human Rights,” said Duterte in a speech Tuesday night.

He said de Lima made her intentions clear when she descended on Davao City to investigate the more than 1,000 summary killings carried out by the Davao Death Squad.

“De Leila figured many years ago and in that press con, just before the hearing she announced that ‘I am here to prove that Duterte is the leader of the DDS’. So she came twice then natapos na lang siyang chairman sa Human Rights, wala naman pina-file na kaso,” said Duterte.

It was the same case when she became Justice Secretary under the Aquino administration – no cases were filed against Duterte.

“I know that (Police Director-General Rolando)Matobato was there with her. Mas matagal ako sa gobyerno eh. Kung baga mas maraming may utang na loob sa akin kaysa kanya,” said Duterte.

As it turned out, it was de Lima who has been hiding a lot of skeletons in her closet as Duterte unmasked how she allowed the drug trade to flourish inside the National Bilibid Prison during her 5-year term as Justice Secretary.

“Despite or in spite international criticisms, which I think nalaman na ninyo ‘yan, it’s unfolding today, that the drugs even of trafficking was established in the national penitentiary. But if you listen to the TV right now, the investigation is going on in the committee in the Lower House. Alam na ninyo kung bakit,” said Duterte.