'Eyes on the ball': De Lima tells Duterte to stop using her as diversion to hide his incompetence

'Eyes on the ball': De Lima tells Duterte to stop using her as diversion to hide his incompetence

MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima clapped back at President Rodrigo Duterte after he called her a “bitch,” saying this is a diversionary tactic to cover up for his “failure of leadership,” especially amid the pandemic.

De Lima pointed to Duterte’s “incompetence,” citing what she said is the government’s slow-paced vaccination rollout and the spate of killings in the country.

“Bitch? Kulang-kulang ang bakuna kahit bilyon-bilyon ang inutang, ako pa ang bitch? Sa dami ng namamatay sa COVID at EJK (extrajudicial killing), ako pang pinakulong na nga nya, ang nasa utak pa rin nya?” De Lima said in a statement posted on her Twitter account late Thursday.

(Bitch? We are short on vaccines and have billions in debt and I’m the bitch? There have been many deaths because of COVID and EJK and yet the person who he sent to jail is still who he thinks about?)

“Incompetent people will always call you names. Panlihis na naman ni Duterte sa mga kapalpakan nya,” added the senator, one of Duterte’s staunchest critics.

(Incompetent people will always call you names. Duterte is only using this as a diversionary tactic to cover up for his failure.)

‘Eyes on the ball’

Earlier, the President, who previously called for the promotion of women empowerment, called De Lima the “only bitch” who made the world believe she is a “” at a recent joint meeting of the National Task Force-Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict held in Tacloban City.

“May sinasabi pa siyang ‘women empowerment’ kamakailan lang, siya naman itong sa simula’t sapul, laging nagmumura, naninira, nangmamaliit, at walang karespe-respeto sa kakayahan at karapatan ng kababaihan,” De Lima said.

(He even recently claimed to support ‘,’ but he’s the one who keeps on cursing, slandering and belittling and has no respect for women’s abilities and rights.)

“Mr. President, ‘wag ka nang magkalat ng tsismis tungkol sa akin. Andami pang problema sa pagkalat na naman ng COVID. Trabaho na lang, huwag tsismis. Eyes on the ball lang po,” she said in a separate Twitter post.

(Mr. President, don’t spread gossip about me. We are facing problems because of the recent spike in COVID infections. Just work and don’t gossip. Eyes on the ball.)

De Lima is currently detained in Camp Crame over what she has repeatedly branded as “trumped-up” charges against her.

The senator, who marked her fourth year in detention, was recently and has consistently and firmly maintained her innocence of all the cases against her.