Court issues arrest warrant for De Lima

Posted February 26, 2017

A separate report said that the DOJ panel's charge sheet stated that De Lima had violated sections 5 and 22 of the Dangerous Drugs Act, which penalises the "sale, trading, administration, dispensation, delivery, distribution and transportation of illegal drugs".

The Regional Trial Court issued the warrant on Thursday for the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima and other officials who have been charged by Department of Justice prosecutors with receiving bribes from detained drug lords.

Duterte first raised allegations in August that De Lima had been running a drug trafficking ring with criminals inside the nation's biggest prison when she was the justice secretary in the previous government. She questioned why the court suddenly issued the arrest order when it was scheduled Friday to hear her petition to void the three non-bailable charges.

In an emotional press conference last night, De Lima said she would not hide and would wait at the Senate for the arresting team.

"The arrest of de Lima is a blatant attempt by the Philippine government to silence criticism of President Duterte and divert attention away from serious human rights violations in the "war on drugs"," it said. I call on them to publicly express their strong disapproval of the blatant abuse of our justice system for political persecution...

Last year, an inquiry into extrajudicial killings, led by Senator de Lima, heard evidence from a former hitman that Duterte personally ordered numerous attacks. The same prisoners are now included in those who have given testimony against her.

On Thursday, an arrest warrant was issued for de Lima, 57, over the allegations of bribery linked to drug dealers.

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Leila de Lima, who past year led a Senate probe into alleged extrajudicial killings during Duterte's anti-drugs campaign, said the arrest was payback for taking on a president who had acted like a dictator. "De Lima is facing this kind of political vendetta and harassment from the Duterte administration because she is a critic of the administration". If approved, there might be staff members and security with De Lima every day.

He said he is "now motivated more than ever" to expose Duterte for allegedly "being a plunderer and mass murderer that he truly is".

Police data obtained by Human Right Watch reveals that at least 2,250 "suspected drug personalities" were killed by officers between July and January 2017.

"The majesty of the law shines triumphantly when a senator of a republic is arrested and detained on account of a criminal charge".

The Palace portrayed De Lima's arrest as the "triumph of the rule of law".

"The haste is deplorable", they said in a statement, noting the judge just came from a trip to Macau and could not possibly have studied the "thick" motion to quash De Lima filed last Monday.

De Lima then went to her home in another part of the capital after believing she had secured an agreement with authorities to surrender on Friday morning.