Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Leila de Lima on Gloria Macapagal Arroyo: 'I Won't Resign Nor Issue a Public Apology'

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Leila de Lima is in the hot seat after announcing unverified information that former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo‘s plan for political asylum in the Dominican Republic.

Justice Secretary - Leila de Lima
Leila de Lima is being asked by the Arroyo’s camp to resign as Justice Secretary or to issue a public apology for issuing false information. They said De Lima shamed the Philippines before the international community in her bid to “persecute” the former President and to advance her political ambition.

Arroyo’s spokesperson Elena Bautista-Horn pointed out that Leila de Lima wanted media mileage for a supposed senatorial run in 2013 by pinning down the unpopular Arroyo on electoral sabotage and plunder cases. She also added that the Aquino government is so obsessed with putting Arroyo behind bars that its allies were resorting to irresponsible statements.

“We have been shamed before the Dominican Republic and the international community,” Horn said via a radio interview on Sunday.

“It is a shame we had to drag the Dominican Republic into a domestic mess,” she added.

De Lima was defended, however, by Malacanang saying she was “merely doing her job.”

Furthermore, deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte said that no international embarrassment resulted when Dominican Republic Foreign Minister Carlos Morales Troncoso said his government had not received any application for asylum from Arroyo.

“All this is just part of the noise being generated by the Arroyo camp to divert attention from the real issues,” Valte told the media.

“The Secretary of Justice was asked a question, she replied matter-of-factly that the information was unverified. She was merely doing her job,” she added.

Leila de Lima, in reply to GMA’s camp, said she will not resign nor issue a public apology.

“Why should I do that? I have also told you before that I would know when to resign. I would know when to quit. I don’t need somebody telling me that because I know exactly when to do that when confronted with the right circumstances,” she said.

“Why should I as I [have] repeatedly clarified the info regarding the Dominican Republic did not come from me. I only confirmed receipt of such information when asked by media,” she added.

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