Senator Leila De Lima on Tuesday night bewailed her cellular phone being made public during the House Committee on Justice's hearing on the alleged proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison under her watch as secretary of justice.
In a statement, De Lima said she had received almost 2,000 text messages as of 8 p.m. on Tuesday.
"I have been bombarded by text messages, numbering almost 2000, and phone calls from unknown persons, threatening me, harassing me, calling me the vilest of names," De Lima said.
De Lima said she had "no adequate words to express my utter dismay about the lack of foresight and/or utter lack of sheer humanity displayed today during what I can only describe as a blatant exercise in harassment and persecution that is the so-called House of Representatives 'inquiry'."
"I condemn and vehemently protest the sheer indecency and foulness of allowing my cellphone number and home address to be publicly disclosed. They have victimized me over and over again, and just when I thought I could not feel more betrayed, they have once again proven that I have underestimated their audacity and evilness," she added.
During the inquiry, convict Herbert Colangco was asked what cellphone number he called when he allegedly discussed in January 2014 with De Lima the payoffs supposedly coursed through the then secretary's aide.
Colangco gave the number and it was confirmed as De Lima's following verification by some members of the House.
The House probe was aired not only on national television but was also streamed by many news websites.
"They have basically destroyed my right to privacy and security in my communications and in my abode. I am now literally a persecuted person displaced from my home. Worse, they have turned people into weapons of destruction," De Lima said.
"This is the country that we live in today. We shame ourselves before our countrymen and the world that we dare compare ourselves to Singapore in terms of making people feel safe. What the people have to realize is that this is not just an offense against me, but against everyone," she added.
"They are making me into an example of what will happen to those who dare criticize and call out the abuses of those in power. Who would dare stand up for others now? The real victim here is the people, the oppressed. God save us all," De Lima said.
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