Updated 01:38 AM PHT Wed, December 14, 2016
Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — She gives as good as she gets.
Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima didn't mince words when she came out with a statement on Tuesday regarding a report on the recently-concluded Senate probes of alleged extrajudicial killings (EJK) in connection with an ongoing all-out war against drugs by the Duterte administration.
"What came out was a virtual whitewash designed to absolve the national leadership as led by the President," De Lima said in a 151-page dissenting report. The Senate report said that there was no state-sponsored EJKs and there was no proof that the so-called "Davao Death Squad" existed.
She said, "The "unreasonable exclusion of important witnesses had precluded a thorough and intensive treatment of the subject of EJKs."
The lawmaker also lashed out at Sen. Dick Gordon, who chaired one of the committees hearing the issue for "wasting a golden opportunity" — saying the probes' ultimate goal was to exonerate the President and the administration from any involvement in the bloody drug war that claimed thousands of lives.
De Lima said the Senate probe failed on several grounds, notably on its refusal to hear the testimonies of EJK witnesses of the Commission on Human Rights, its premature termination, its failure to weigh in the testimonies of Senate witness Edgar Matobato, among others.
She also took exception to the part of the report about her — and Sen. Sonny Trillanes' — "unparliamentary behavior."
"The Gordon Report was not about finding the source behind all this public bloodbath drowning the poor and shirtless in this country, but about libeling, attacking, and pillorying the two Senators who dared come out with guns blazing against the President as the inducer of these killings," she said.
De Lima also gave a number of recommendations to the Senate, including enacting a law against EJKs and establishing a program to assist the surviving families of those killed during police operations.
The Senator is out of the country to receive an award in the U.S., and a speaking engagement Germany. She is expected to be back on December 22.