Sen. Leila De Lima arrested over drug charges

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(File photo) Embattled Senator Leila De Lima was arrested today at the Senate after a Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court ordered it Thursday.

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines) — Police arrested Senator Leila De Lima today after a Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) judge issued a warrant yesterday afternoon.

De Lima was arrested at the Senate past 8 a.m and was brought to Camp Crame for booking procedures

 

She was then brought to the Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 where Judge Juanita Guerrero issued a commitment order to detain the senator at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center.

Meanwhile, Judge Amelia Fabros of Muntinlupa RTC Branch 205 ruled that the cases filed in her sala would be heard on March 10.

De Lima's cases were raffled off to Branch 204, 205, and 206

 

Upon exiting the RTC building, De Lima acknowleged her supporters – waving to them from the vehicle that transported her.

 

De Lima returned to Camp Crame at 1:11 p.m. Friday.

Guerrero ordered De Lima's arrest after she cited probable cause for charges against the senator. She was accused of abetting illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison while she was Justice secretary from 2010 to 2015.

Ready for arrest

In an emotional press conference last night, De Lima said she would not hide and would wait at the Senate for the arresting team.

She did, however, say that she wanted to go home first to say goodbye to her family and prepare her things for detention.

She thanked her Liberal partymates for standing by her. She also acknowledged her supporters and alluded to recent events wherein detainees had been killed while behind bars.

"Sa inyo pong lahat, humihingi lang po ako ng inyong dasal na sana maging safe and secure po ako saan man nila ako dadalhin, saan man nila ako ikukulong."

[Translation: I ask everyone for prayers that I may be safe and secure wherever they may detain me.]

Ending her short speech, the senator said, "Tuloy and laban ni Leila de Lima [The fight continues]."

Warrant "questionable"

During her press conference, De Lima said the issuance of the warrant against her was "questionable" as a hearing into motions to quash the cases against her was scheduled for today.

She said, "Sa katunayan yung prosecution nga po, specifically DOJ ay nagpa-postpone pa nga, nagpa-reset po ng hearing bukas for March 3. Kaya po nagulat po kami lahat na biglang in-issue yung order of arrest and warrant of arrest."

[Translation:In truth, the prosecution, specifically the Department of Justice postponed, asked to reset tomorrow's hearing for March 3. We were all surprised that the order for the warrant of arrest was suddenly issued.]

She reiterated that she has no plans to evade charges and she would face them head on.