Philippine citizens protest Duterte's drug war on anniversary of dictatorship overthrow

Joy Montgomery
February 26, 2017

A judge in the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court on Thursday afternoon found "sufficient probable cause for the issuance of the Warrants of Arrest" against de Lima and two others.

De Lima, as head of the Senate justice and human rights committee, launches public hearings on alleged extrajudicial killings in Duterte's drug war.

Sources from the Philippine National Police (PNP) released to the media the mugshots of Senator Leila de Lima taken after her arrest on Friday morning.

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

Human rights groups say orders to kill thousands of suspected drug dealers have come from the highest level of government, but officials say vigilante groups are to blame.

"Senator De Lima should peacefully submit herself to the custody of authorities upon receipt of the arrest warrant", Alvarez said.

The charges are non-bailable and fit neatly into President Rodrigo Duterte's war against illegal drugs. Two former senators she helped prosecute for plunder when she was the justice secretary have been detained in the same centre for three years.

Philips noted that De Lima is the facility's 26th resident and the sole female prisoner.

Phelim Kine of the New York-based Human Rights Watch said Duterte had "effectively expanded his "drug war" from the urban poor to the legislative branch" by arresting de Lima.

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Briefly speaking to reporters, the senator maintained her innocence before she was handed over to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG).

If anything, the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima has divided the country once again with people's perception that we have another political revenge in the making.

Ms Robredo resigned from Mr Duterte's cabinet in December after she was barred from cabinet meetings due to differences with the president.

De Lima is arrested.

Panelo said De Lima's impending arrest was different from the time when the then-justice chief effected the arrest of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo in 2011.

Majority Leader Rodolfo Fariñas has accused De Lima of abusing "inter-chamber courtesy accorded her" by the Lower House and stood in the way of a congressional investigation into the NBP drug trade when she advised former driver-lover Ronnie Dayan to ignore summonses for his appearance in the House hearings conducted previous year by the Committee on Justice.

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.

Alvarez claimed that this is also proof that the country's criminal justice system is working.

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