Senet woman MP who stood against Philippine President arrestedBy Darlene Powers Feb 25, 2017
Philippine police arrested Senator Leila de Lima on drug-trafficking charges on Friday, a move that sidelines one of President Rodrigo Duterte's toughest critics.
The arrest comes as the Senate prepares to hear testimonies of a retired police officer, who corroborated numerous claims made by the self-confessed hitman against Mr Duterte. But she returned to the Senate at around 10:00 p.m., following reports that the arresting team was on its way that night. The senator continued and said, "If they think they can stop me from fighting these daily murders, they are wrong".
Senator Leila De Lima maintains her innocence in the charges filed against her.
The arrest of Senator Leila de Lima Friday drew a wave of denunciations, with critics of the Duterte government calling it politically provoked, a smear attempt, and being downright illegal.
She also asked her family, friends and supporters to pray for her safety.
De Lima's camp has been insisting that the Sandiganbayan, not the regional trial courts, has jurisdiction over the cases.
A Philippine court ordered the arrest on Thursday of Sen. Risa Hontiveros in a statement.
De Lima was allowed to spend the night at her office on Thursday before the scheduled arrest on Friday.
Duterte first raised the allegations against de Lima in a speech in August.
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As justice secretary she prosecuted cases linked to the misuse of huge amounts of legislators' so-called pork-barrel funds, and raided the country's biggest prison to dismantle the perks accorded to inmates convicted of drug offences. The prison facility is managed by the Bureau of Corrections, an arm of the Department of Justice. Furthermore, Dayan admitted and testified that he collected the money on behalf of the senator.
The United Nations human rights chief, Zeid Raad al-Hussein has called for "credible and independent investigations" into the killings in Davao "as well as into the shocking number of killings that have occurred across the country since Mr Duterte became President".
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.
"Senator de Lima has been taunting the Duterte administration to arrest her for months". In swift succession, salacious claims emerged about her sex life, along with allegations that she had taken bribes from drug dealers.
He noted that the President is now fulfilling his promise to destroy De Lima.
De Lima's arrest is the latest sign Duterte's government is more concerned about prosecuting its critics than bringing the perpetrators of mass killings to justice.
Malacañang, however, fended off the criticisms and guaranteed that de Lima would get fair treatment while in detention.
LP senators who kept De Lima company while she waited for the service of the warrant, condemned "the political persecution of fearless administration critic Sen. Obviously, it should not warrant any air time or editorial space unless Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre can provide verifiable proof, and not just mere hearsay", she said.
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