Top critic of Philippine leader arrested on drug charges

A Philippine senator and leading critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly crackdown on illegal drugs mentioned she won't be intimidated by a leader she known as a "serial killer" after police arrested her on drug charges. Leila de Lima said the accusations...

Top critic of Philippine leader arrested on drug charges

A Philippine senator and leading critic of President Rodrigo Duterte's deadly crackdown on illegal drugs mentioned she won't be intimidated by a leader she known as a "serial killer" after police arrested her on drug charges.

Leila de Lima said the accusations against her were part of an attempt by Duterte to muzzle critics of the clampdown that has left much more than 7,000 suspected dealers and compact-time customers dead. She questioned why the court abruptly issued the arrest order when it was scheduled Friday to hear her petition to throw out the charges of getting bribes from detained drug lords.

"If they think they can silence me, if they assume I will no longer fight for my advocacies, specially on the truth on the every day killings and other intimidations of this Duterte regime. It's my honor to be jailed for what I've been fighting for," she mentioned prior to police took her into custody at the Senate.

A police convoy, trailed by media vans, took de Lima to the major police camp, where officers took her mugshot and fingerprints before they locked her up in a detention center. Two former senators she helped prosecute for plunder when she was the justice secretary have been detained in the same center for three years.

Vice President Leni Robredo and other political allies expressed support to de Lima, saying she was being persecuted for criticizing the president. Archbishop Socrates Villegas, the head of bishops in the predominantly Roman Catholic country, stated the senators and other folks charged really should be accorded "their fair day in the court of laws."

Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said de Lima will be treated pretty and must not fear for her security exactly where she was detained.

When de Lima headed the government's Commission on Human Rights, she tried unsuccessfully to have Duterte prosecuted when he was mayor of Davao city for unlawful deaths in a crackdown against illegal drugs he had launched there. No witnesses came forward to testify against him.

Duterte expanded the crackdown nationwide following becoming president in June and de Lima continued to criticize him soon after winning a Senate seat final year.

In 1 of her strongest statements against the president this week, de Lima referred to as Duterte a "sociopathic serial killer" who has not been produced to answer for extra than 1,000 deaths even though he was Davao mayor and even much more as president.

She urged Duterte's Cabinet members to declare him unfit.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II warned that such remarks were seditious, but de Lima replied that Aguirre and Duterte are "the rebels and inciters against a constitutional order that values life and due process above everything else."

Prosecutors allege that de Lima, while she was justice secretary received bribes from detained drug lords to finance her senatorial campaign, adding some of them would testify against her. The bribes have been allegedly solicited by her former driver and lover, who was also charged and arrested Thursday.

Duterte has lashed out at de Lima with foul language, calling her a sex-crazed immoral lady whose election opened "the portals of the national government ... to narco-politics."

De Lima has stated the case against her may possibly be the "wakeup call" the country requirements, referring to the absence of a public outcry more than the drug killings.

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