Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago on Monday claimed that she has been receiving "implied" death threats after she identified several personalities as being jueteng lords and operators.
In a statement released on Monday, Santiago said she has been receiving the threats by phone at her office in Quezon City. Santiago is on leave due to health reasons and has instructed that all her calls be referred to her QC office.
She said "unidentified voices" told her to "take it easy on the operators and the Philippine National Police (PNP);" "present witnesses or shut up;" and that "she should resign or else."
She said the calls were received by her executive assistant Sandy Schala and her administrative head Matilde Fuentes and were then relayed to her.
Santiago, however, just dismissed the supposed threats. "Please post all death threats on my Facebook wall," she said.
In a privilege speech last week, Santiago alleged that the heads of the PNP and Department of Interior and Local Government have annually been receiving P300 million in jueteng payoffs.
She likewise identified local officials and other suspected gambling lords to be the main jueteng operators in five regions in the Philippines.
Senator Edgardo Angara, for his part, asked Santiago to name nationally elected officials who are possibly coddling jueteng lords.
Death threats are nothing new to Santiago, the feisty senator from Iloilo.
As Immigration commissioner during the time of the late President Corazon Aquino, Santiago once said that she "eat(s) death threats for breakfast."
At the time, Santiago was going after illegal aliens in the country.
Aside from Santiago, other jueteng whistleblowers have also expressed fears for their lives: retired Lingayen-Dagupan Archbishop Oscar Cruz and Sandra Cam.
In late February this year, jueteng witness Wilfredo "Boy" Mayor was killed in an ambush in Pasay City.
During the Senate hearings in 2005, Mayor had testified that then First Gentleman Jose Miguel Arroyo and several government officials received money from jueteng, a popular but illegal numbers game. The First Gentleman has denied the allegation. — RSJ, GMANews.TV
Reposted From GMA News.TV