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Duterte, De Lima inclusion in TIME’s 100 most influential people draws mixed reactions

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by Genalyn Kabiling and Hannah Torregoza

Malacañang isn’t exactly thrilled that President Duterte shares the same spotlight with one of his staunchest critics, Senator Leila de Lima, in TIME magazine’s 100 Most Influential People of 2017.

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said the international magazine failed to point out De Lima has been detained pending a trial for alleged involvement in illegal drugs.

MEETING THE PRESIDENT — President Duterte( right) welcomes Union of Myanmar Ambassador-designate to the Philippines, U Win Naing (left) and members of his delegation at the Malacañang Palace on Thursday. Naing submitted his credentials to the President. He was with his wife, Nwe Ni Aung. (Simeon Celi Jr. | Manila Bulletin)

MEETING THE PRESIDENT — President Duterte( right) welcomes Union of Myanmar Ambassador-designate to the Philippines, U Win Naing (left) and members of his delegation at the Malacañang Palace on Thursday. Naing submitted his credentials to the President. He was with his wife, Nwe Ni Aung. (Simeon Celi Jr. | Manila Bulletin)

“In the case of Sen. De Lima, TIME conveniently failed to clarify that she was jailed not for her criticisms against the administration but because an independent court found probable cause in support of the criminal charges against her for alleged violation of the law on illegal drugs,” Abella said.

De Lima, however, said she was humbled to be included in the TIME magazine’s list.

“I am deeply humbled for being recognized by Time magazine as an Icon among their 100 Most Influential People in the world,” De Lima said in a statement.

The senator has been critical of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs which was marred by allegations of extrajudicial killings.

“The struggle for human rights and the fight for justice for those who have been murdered by the Duterte regime in its drug war are not popular causes as of the moment,” De Lima said

Duterte has been named one of TIME honorees under “Leaders” but the profile written by former Colombian President Cèsar Gaviria was largely critical of his brutal war on illegal drugs.

De Lima, on the other hand, was listed under “Icons.” The senator’s strong criticisms of Duterte’s drug campaign were highlighted in the profile written by former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power.

Reacting to Duterte’s inclusion in the TIME list, Abella said: “The fact remains that President Duterte is supported by majority of the Filipinos in his campaign against illegal hard drugs, crime and corruption.”

In the TIME profile of Duterte, Gaviria wrote about the 7,000 drug killings since the Philippine leader came to power and how “iron-fisted strategy” has alarmed governments, human rights and religious groups.

Gaviria also shared his experience that taking a tough stance against drugs did not work when he was leader of Colombia. He instead suggested Duterte to treat drugs as a health and human rights and development issue.

“There will always be drugs in the Philippines, whether the President likes it or not. The tragedy is that many more people are likely going to die as he learns this lesson,” he said.

Duterte previously called Gaviria an “idiot” for lecturing him on a more comprehensive approach to fighting drugs.

De Lima, currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center in Camp Crame, is facing drug charges filed against her by the present administration.

She has since denied having any involvement in illegal drugs, especially during her time as secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the administration of then President Benigno Aquino III.

She said she could have chosen to stay silent and dance with the regime’s music, but decided against it saying it would have been “a betrayal of the country, the oppressed, the marginalized, and the fight for justice.”

“It would have been a betrayal of my father, my sons, and my family. I cannot for once contemplate capitulating to the dark side that this regime now embodies in exchange for a comfortable but opportunist life,” she said.”

“This is why international recognition of what we fight for is important, because even as darkness surrounds us now, the world keeps watch and shines a light on us, until the time comes when we can finally bear our own torch once again and chase away the monster that enslaves us in evil,” she stressed.

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  • Wilbert Santos

    Delima has a very long list of crimes and a long line of witnesses and evidences against her. Whoever included her name must be controlled by some or by self interest.

  • Zim

    I wonder who are the people being influenced by De Lima in the world. Time Magazine failed to know the truth. Someone should have influenced Time Magazine to put De Lima in the list. Money? Big politician? Maybe America? Who knows. De Lima is protector of drug lords and recipients of drug money for her political ambitions. And uses EJKs against PRRD just so her name would come clean all over the world. But who cares? The Philippines know the truth. Even her political allies knew it, but of course, they have to deny it because they are the same. Birds of the same feather flock together.

    • henry

      yes .. keep wondering

  • Hopefull11

    It is the way of maintaining De Limaw’s altitude so that by the time the verdict comes, huge sound of impact will be heard allover the world. It will make Time Magazine’s eyes wide open realizing that they failed to understand De Lima’s case.

  • Felino Garlitos

    Ever since the Fall the world had a distorted since of value. Since when is fighting evil. Jesus ‘ stated mission is to destroy the works of Satan. The President’s campaign against illegal drugs and all its faces would be most noble and right, and to place on level the Delima’s partnering with the drug Lords which is antithesis, to merit also a place in Time’s Magazine WHO’S WHO 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL, what differenciates good from evil, truth from lie?

    • henry

      killing is noble ? thats the value now of Filipinos as taught by the killing squad duterte.

      • ramon

        killing devil criminals to protect the innocent people c”,)

  • Jack Fuego

    I don’t know how TIME defines ‘influential’ but they have missed the fact that while the others in their list have influence both inside and outside their homelands, de Lima is mostly sneered at in her own country and had to appeal abroad to push her misplaced cause. Obviously TIME is another one of those who have been misled by the propaganda of de Lima et al. Ms. Power should have looked closely at de Lima’s background, how fiercely oppressive she was against her party’s opponents and how she allowed the proliferation of drugs when she was head of the Justice Department. All these while sleeping with her married driver.

    Ang tanong for TIME: why did you pick an admirer to comment on de Lima while you allowed a critic (Gaviria, a failed president) to comment on President Duterte? I know that’s your call but WTF (Where’s The Fairness)?

  • manny villegas

    No, they don’t share. D5 got 55 votes from fellow yellowturds. Duterte got 5% of the votes which is probably a million or so. How can you compare?

  • henry

    IT IS DUTERTE WHO SHOULD BE IN THE TIMES MAGAZINE..

    GO DE LIMA GO !