MANILA—Malacañang on Friday expressed dismay over the inclusion of Sen. Leila de Lima in TIME Magazine’s list of most influential people, roundly criticizing how her detention has been falsely depicted in the accompanying article.
In a statement, Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella noted that the piece on De Lima failed to explain the real circumstances on her incarceration.
“In the case of Sen. De Lima, TIME conveniently failed to clarify that she was jailed not for her criticisms against the administration but because an independent court found probable cause in support of the criminal charges against her for alleged violation of the law on illegal drugs,” Abella said.
The senator was listed among the most influential list in the “Icons” category.
The accompanying article on De Lima was penned by former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Williams.
William’s piece was all praises to the detained senator which described her as a vocal critic of President Duterte who continues to speak out against the President even from her prison cell.
Meanwhile, Abella said Duterte’s topping the prestigious list attests to the widespread support the President enjoys among Filipinos, and even in the international community, despite negative criticisms coming from his fiercest critics here and abroad.
Duterte got 5 percent of the total “yes” votes in the magazine’s online poll, beating Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who each got 3 percent.
“The fact remains that President Duterte is supported by majority of the Filipinos in his campaign against illegal hard drugs, crime and corruption,” Abella said.