Leading critic of Philippine leader arrested on drug charges

Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima, who is now facing drug trafficking charges, surrendered to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on Friday at around 8:10 a.m. "Haharapin ko na yung team ng CIDG na magseserve ng warrant of arrest".

Prosecutors alleged De Lima, while she was justice secretary under former president Benigno Aquino III, received bribes from detained drug lords to finance her senatorial campaign.

"The truth will come out at the right time", de Lima told reporters outside the Senate office where she spent the night, moments before law enforcers marshaled her into a waiting van.

Carlos said that the PNP was only following the orders of the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 204 to arrest Sen.

She told De Lima's lawyer that if there's no jurisdiction over the person, she could not act on the motion to quash, adding that she went over the complaint before issuing the arrest warrant.

But de Lima and her supporters insist she is innocent and that Duterte orchestrated the charges to silence her as well as intimidate anyone else who may want to speak out against him or his drug war.

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"It is condemnable that the administration railroads rules and processes for political vendetta", he said.

De Lima also stated that the criminal charges filed against her are a result of the president's "fixation for revenge". The same prisoners are now included in those who have given testimony against her.

Last October, even as his drug war drew global condemnation, 83 percent of Filipinos said they had "much trust" in the president - although some commentators doubt whether his popularity is really that strong.

De Lima headed a commission investigating extra-judicial killings under the war on drugs, which has left more than 7,000 dead since Duterte took office in June.

On Tuesday she called Duterte a "sociopathic serial killer" who had a "criminal mind". The CIDG served the arrest order in the Senate this morning.

As justice secretary, de Lima conducted a raid at the New Bilibid Prison maximum security area that shocked the nation, revealing a luxurious lifestyle of high-profile inmates who are now among the witnesses against her.

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But Duterte's aides said De Lima's imminent arrest showed even the most powerful people would be brought to justice if they broke the law.

In September, de Lima was ousted as chair in a vote by other members of the committee.

Abella also affirmed that De Lima "will have the opportunity to defend herself and prove her innocence".

Meanwhile, De Lima's political group, the Liberal Party released a statement with regard to the senator's arrest.

De Lima said the actions of the President are befitting that of a dictator, something that can not be left unchecked.

She warned that this set a unsafe precedent for the government to arrest and incarcerate individuals that it perceives as its enemies, on the basis only of mere allegations and without due process.

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