- Solon said he and San Beda alumni tried bringing senator, president under Bedan flag
- He said it was his duty as a Bedan and LP partymate to smooth ties between De Lima, Duterte
- He stressed that the senator’s arrest has nothing to do with her beef vs president though
MANILA, Philippines – Oriental Mindoro Rep. Reynaldo Umali admitted he and other alumni from San Beda tried bringing Sen. Leila de Lima and President Rodrigo Duterte under the Bedan bandwagon months ago.
Umali, who took up Law at the San Beda College of Law and Manuel L. Quezon University, said he felt it was his duty convince De Lima to support the president.
“Sabi ko: ‘Lei, President Duterte is a good president who is also a Bedan. Baka it will be good to support his presidency [I said: ‘Lei, President Duterte is a good president who is also a Bedan. Maybe it will be good to support his presidency],’” he told ABS-CBN. “I felt it was my duty considering my relations with her.”
The solon added that other prestigious alumni from San Beda also talked with both Duterte and De Lima in the hopes they would reconcile.
He stressed though that the senator’s arrest due to her alleged involvement in drugs is not Duterte’s way of shutting her up contrary to what his foes are saying.
“Chilling effect will only happen when those who are affected by it have something to hide or fear,” he said.
De Lima and Duterte both graduated from the San Beda College of Law. She and Umali are members of the same fraternity based in the same college and are aligned with the Liberal Party.
Incidentally, Umali headed the House committee on justice which probed De Lima on the proliferation of drugs inside Bilibid when she was still justice secretary.