Police officials arrested Leila De Lima for allegedly accepting money from imprisoned drug traffickers. Before meeting up with the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG), De Lima released a statement maintaining her innocence. The CIDG served the arrest order in the Senate this morning.
Leila De Lima’s Arrest: A Form Of Political Persecution?
Senator Leila De Lima maintains her innocence in the charges filed against her. The CIDG through the Municipal Trial Court Branch 204 served the arrest order to De Lima today. The senator allegedly received money from imprisoned drug traffickers.
According to The New York Times, De Lima described her arrest as a form of “political persecution.” Moreover, while being led away, De Lima told the media, “The truth will come out at the right time.” The senator continued and said, “If they think they can stop me from fighting these daily murders, they are wrong.”
The online news website Rappler published De Lima’s statement with regard to today’s incident. According to the statement, the senator saw her arrest as a sign of the “return of a power-hungry, morally bankrupt and abusive government.” The senator continued to criticize Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte for having the “gall” to use the imprisoned drug lord’s testimonies that are inconsistent and “whose statements contradict each other.”
— CNN Philippines (@cnnphilippines) February 24, 2017
De Lima also stated that the criminal charges filed against her are a result of the president’s “fixation for revenge.” This is after her investigation of the Davao Death Squad when she was still the Chairperson of the Commission of Human Rights (CHR).
A portion of De Lima’s statement reads: “if they think that by jailing me, I will turn my back on my principles, they are mistaken. Instead, they have encouraged me more to pursue truth and justice.” The senator further said that she has already prepared herself to become a political prisoner of the Duterte administration.
More Leila De Lima News Update
Meanwhile, the initial report noted that the elected senator is President Duterte’s leading critic. De Lima continuously criticized how the administration handled the crackdown of drug trafficking in the country. The outlet noted that police officials or vigilantes were reportedly killing thousands of people to solve the country’s drug-related cases.
The Philippines’ House of Representatives started to conduct hearings where imprisoned drug lords gave statements that they have been giving her bribes through her former bodyguard, Ronnie Dayan. Furthermore, Dayan admitted and testified that he collected the money on behalf of the senator.
— Kiko Pangilinan (@kikopangilinan) February 24, 2017
Meanwhile, De Lima’s political group, the Liberal Party released a statement with regard to the senator’s arrest. For the party, “the arrest is purely a political vendetta.” Moreover, they fear for De Lima’s life. Last year, an incident happened where a mayor was found dead in his prison cell. President Duterte accused the mayor of being part of drug trafficking activities.
What can you say about the arrest of Senator Leila De Lima today? Share your thoughts with us! Read the full text of De Lima’s statement here.