De Lima on 2016 plans: Que sera, sera

Posted at 05/30/14 5:11 AM

MANILA, Philippines - Justice Secretary Leila de Lima dismissed reports that she is eyeing a Senate seat or a post at the Commission on Elections (Comelec), saying she is focused on her current job.

“I honestly don’t know yet what’s going to be my next calling. Que sera, sera. I’m just focused right now on my myriad tasks and challenges,” she said in a text message to reporters.

Former justice secretary and now 1-Bap party-list Rep. Silvestre Bello had said he heard rumors that De Lima wants to replace Comelec Chairman Sixto Brillantes Jr., who is set to retire in February next year.

Bello added that he is not discounting the possibility that De Lima might run for the Senate in 2016.

“While I appreciate Rep. Bello’s candid statements, I don’t know where he got such idea,” De Lima said.

De Lima is at the center of the government’s efforts to investigate personalities alleged to be behind the multibillion-peso pork barrel fund scam through bogus non-government organizations linked to businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles.

Before her stint at the DOJ, De Lima headed the Commission on Human Rights during the term of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. She also previously served as an election lawyer.

De Lima is the daughter of former Comelec commissioner Vicente de Lima.

A November 2011 survey by Pulse Asia showed De Lima among the top personalities favored to become a senator in the 2013 polls, getting the nod of 29.4 percent of 1,200 respondents.