One of Duterte's Biggest Critics Arrested on Drug Charges

One of Duterte's Biggest Critics Arrested on Drug Charges

De Lima said she was arrested on trumped-up charges.

The criminal cases filed against the senator and two others are non-bailable.

It is not yet clear where De Lima will be detained but she earlier expressed disapproval to be jailed in the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

"Please pray for me", De Lima told reporters before she entered the police van, reported AFP.

The president of an worldwide federation of liberal political parties has joined the fray in defending the cause of embattled Senator Leila de Lima, writing to the leadership of the European Union (EU) in the lawmaker's behalf.

De Lima helped now-Senate President Aquilino Pimentel Jnr to unseat a senate election rival, and future senator Alan Peter Cayetano beat a suit alleging he was not a Filipino citizen and therefore not qualified to run for office.

"There is a president who is threatening to re-impose martial law and openly supports the killings of thousands of people", she said in a statement made from her cell. Her first day in court will be Friday, and she has moved to have the case dropped entirely, claiming political vendetta. In swift succession, salacious claims emerged about her sex life, along with allegations that she had taken bribes from drug dealers. She branded the charges against the senator as a "smear" campaign "aris [ing] from a political agenda and not the result of an independent, unbiased legal process".

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

He stressed that liberals "across the world" call for De Lima's immediate release, especially as she is viewed as a "highly respected human rights activist fighting against corruption and the rule of law".

The criminal complaint alleged de Lima received 5 million pesos ($99,850) from a former prison official when she was justice minister between 2010 and 2016.

"[The] fight is not over if we are not ready to defend our rights", he said. That is his obligation toward his own people.

He said De Lima's focus on the issue of jurisdiction was a weak defense.

"Itong sa amin panawagan sana sa kaparian at tsaka sa Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), ako Katoliko ako, na sana kapag ganyang sitwasyon, pag-aralan muna nila yung tunay na pagkatao ng sinusuporthan nila (We appeal to the priests and CBCP to learn about the person they are supporting)", said Lasala, who is a Catholic himself.

De Lima and President Duterte have been engaged in a public war of words since he came into office last June, particularly over his drug war that has seen more than 7,000 supposed drug traffickers killed in extrajudicial vigilante-style killings.

He said De Lima's motion to quash was not enough to weaken the Justice department's finding of probable cause.