In perhaps one of the most chilling political move since President Rodrigo Duterte took charge of Malacanan, Philippine Senator Leila de Lima was arrested on Friday morning. This was in connection to her possible involvement in the drug trade inside the Bilibid prison when she was the Justice secretary under the Aquino administration.
De Lima surrendered to arresting authorities following the issuance of a warrant of arrest against her by a Muntinlupa court on Thursday. She was brought to Camp Crame, where she could possibly be detained until her trial. The arrest brought forth a battle on Twitter between De Lima supporters and those persecuting her.
Leila de Lima A Victim Of Government Persecution?
Leila de Lima is one of the staunchest critics of the Duterte administration and its war on drugs. Her arrest on Friday constitutes the most high-profile persecution of those involved in the Bilibid drug trade. Millennials on Twitter are keeping a watchful eye on de Lima with the hashtag #LeilaWatch.
Her co-Liberal Party mates, particularly Senator Kiko Pangilinan and former spokesman Edwin Lacierda, are calling on Filipinos to keep the senator safe. Camp Crame, the seat of the Philippine National Police, was where a Korean businessman was murdered last month. These are all coinciding with the anniversary of the People Power Movement that toppled the Marcos dictatorship.
On Twitter, millennials are posting their reactions about de Lima’s arrest. Some are calling on other Filipinos to keep a watchful eye on what’s happening at Camp Crame for the senator’s protection. Others believe that de Lima deserved to be a victim of “tokhang” (a Visayan term meaning to approach and talk). Most are just plain disappointed with the country’s justice system.
On studying and teaching Political Science, it's just so much disappointment to see what's happening with our justice system. #LeilaWatch
— Cid Revilloza (@heyitspencil) February 24, 2017
Political Harassment at its Finest! #LeilaWatch
— Emmanuel Tolentino (@Manu1992020) February 24, 2017
I am no LP but the arrest of De Lima only proves that the system of checks and balances is deteriorating #LeilaWatch
— John Earl Sese (@earlkelvin) February 24, 2017
— Camillo (@yogon) February 24, 2017
Under the PNP’s Oplan Tokhang, more than 7,000 alleged drug peddlers were killed. It’s important to note, however, that the 7,000 killed fall under the poorest of the poor. A grandson of former President Gloria Arroyo was arrested and released even though he was caught possessing and selling drugs.
De Lima Should Be Allowed To Talk
But if there’s probably one consensus among millennials it’s that de Lima should be allowed to talk. They believe that the senator knows more about the drug trade. Many are hoping that there are higher ups in the Liberal Party that de Lima will reveal, particularly President Benigno Aquino III and those closest to him.
For now, we can assume that Leila de Lima will remain under the custody of the PNP-CIDG. We all want her to be safe, of course. Guilty or not, humanity dictates fairness and quality of justice for everyone.
— ABS-CBN News Channel (@ANCALERTS) February 24, 2017