Manila court issues warrant for arrest of top Duterte critic

"Karangalan ko po na ako ay makulong dahil sa mga pinaglalaban ko po", she said.

The charges against de Lima include soliciting and receiving money from jailed drug dealers to the tune of 10 million pesos (about $261,000). "It's actually going to be an honour for me to be in prison under this very repressive and oppressive regime".

In mid-August, he publicly declared that during her tenure as Secretary of Justice, de Lima had permitted the sale and use of drugs to flourish at New Bilibid Prison in metropolitan Manila in exchange for monetary kickbacks, which she used to fund her senatorial campaign.

Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon said De Lima could continue her job as a lawmaker since she is not suspended. On Friday, she was presented to the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court Branch 204 after her arrest.

Senator Leila de Lima and her former lover and aide Ronnie Dayan were detained on Friday at Camp Crame in Quezon City and Muntinlupa police, respectively, less than 24 hours after a Muntinlupa court ordered their arrest.

She slept in her office overnight, then gave herself up to armed police in flak jackets.

The protests against Duterte came amid a large increase of drug-related deaths rumored to be sanctioned by his administration and following the arrest of one of his most outspoken critics Sen.

De Lima went home on Thursday night but rushed back to the Senate after hearing reports the CIDG team would serve the arrest warrant at her house in Paranaque City.




"If they respect the Senate as an institution, they should not force an arrest tonight", she told reporters at the Senate. "That is the implied message of her arrest".

Presidential spokesperson Ernesto Abella said the issuance of the arrest warrant against De Lima was "a major step forward in the administration's anti-drug war".

"The arrest of de Lima is a blatant attempt by the Philippine government to silence criticism of President Duterte and divert attention away from serious human rights violations in the "war on drugs"," the group said in a statement.

Ms De Lima has said that the government's case rests largely on testimonies that inmates were coerced into giving.

Thousands of Catholic faithful gathered in a dawn rally in a "show of force" against alleged extrajudicial killings in Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's drug war in Manila on February 18, 2017.

Between the times Duterte took office in late June and January 30, 2,551 suspects have died in police operations against drug users and pushers, according to police statistics.

Amnesty International has warned that police actions in the drug war may amount to crimes against humanity. The cause of numerous other deaths remain in dispute and human rights groups believe many of them were extrajudicial killings.

"Stand charged and bruised beyond redemption by popular opinion, the issue on fraternity affiliation of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte, Secretary Vitaliano N. Aguirre II and the chairman, Senior Assistant State Prosecutor Peter L. Ong, became a lame excuse to insist on the inhibition of the Panel of Prosecutors (Panel), to afford impunity", the resolution read in part.

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