Philippines police arrest president's critic

A senator opposed to President Rodrigo Duterte is detained on drugs charges

Philippines police arrest president's critic

World Bulletin / News Desk

A Philippine senator and fierce critic of controversial President Rodrigo Duterte was arrested on drugs charges at her office on Friday.

An arrest warrant for Senator Leila de Lima had been issued by a regional court and was served by a police team in coordination with senate security.

De Lima spent the night at the office with her two children and a group of supporters. She told reporters earlier: “It is my honor that I will be imprisoned for the things I am fighting for.”

She announced earlier on Friday she would not resist arrest but vowed to continue her fight.

The senator considers herself to be the first political prisoner detained under the Duterte administration, according to Jose Manuel “Chel” Diokno, a human rights lawyer who chairs the Free Legal Aid Group (FLAG).

Diokno spoke to reporters shortly after Judge Guerrero of the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court issued the arrest warrant.

De Lima is accused of orchestrating the drug trade at New Bilibid Prison while she was the country’s justice secretary.

A human rights advocate, De Lima has called for foreign intervention to put an end to the “state-inspired” extrajudicial murders which she says has been instigated by Duterte since he was elected to power.

Since Duterte’s inauguration June 30 last year, an anti-drugs drive has seen more than 7,000 people killed over suspected links to the illegal trade -- with over 60 percent of the deaths attributed to vigilante-style killings and the remainder to police operations, according to national police data.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 24 Şubat 2017, 10:13