MANILA, Philippines—Senator Leila de Lima on Friday has arrived at Camp Crame in Quezon City following her arrest at 9 a.m. today.
De Lima was arrested for her alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs at New Bilibid Prison when she was secretary of Department of Justice (DOJ).
The lady senator was escorted to Camp Crame by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group.
She will undergo the usual booking procedure and will stay in the Custody Center of Camp Crame while she awaits the commitment order from the court.
Former senators Jinggoy Estrada and Bong Revilla are currently detained in the Custody Center for their alleged involvement in the Pork Barrel Scam.
De Lima, in a statement, said that the cases filed against her are based on “manufactured stories.”
“The filing of criminal cases against me is only the fulfillment of Mr Duterte’s fixation for revenge against me, because of my investigation of the Davao Death Squad when I was then the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights,” she said.
De Lima also maintained her innocence, adding that she has never betrayed the country.
On the other hand, DOJ Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre III on February 18 said in a statement that, “(The) cases filed against Senator de Lima are all criminal in nature. Some of these cases involved illegal drugs. They are not politically motivated.”
“Drug cases do not involve one’s political beliefs. It involves one’s choice to be involved in illegal drugs,” he added.
Meanwhile, politicians from the Liberal Party where De Lima belongs to cried foul of the senator’s arrest.
“The arrest of Senator Leila de Lima is the latest move in a persistent campaign of political harassment being waged against a duly elected member of Congress,” Vice President Leni Robredo said.
“With contradicting testimonies from criminals as basis of the case, they circumvented due process to fast track the issuance of the arrest warrant,” she added.
Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Franklin Drilon, and Bam Aquino expressed fear for De Lima’s safety.
“We fear for Sen. Leila’s life and security given to what happened to Albuera Mayor Espinosa and Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, who were both killed inside police-controlled facilities,” they said in a joint statement.