Senator Leila de Lima should be courageous enough to face allegations of her involvement in the illegal drug trade considering the “strong” case against her, President Rodrigo Duterte said on Friday.
“She should face the music. Ilang testigo [ang nagturo sa kanya],” he said in an interview with media on the sidelines of his visit to the wake of 2 fallen soldiers at the Eastern Mindanao Command Gymnasium in Pandacan, Davao City.
(She should face the music. Many witnesses spoke against her.)
Duterte also believes the government has a strong case against the senator because it took the Justice department “months to develop the case.”
“Oo, malakas ang kaso (Yes, the case is strong),” Duterte said.
On Friday afternoon, Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre said a Muntinlupa City court would hold a raffle on Monday to determine which judge will handle De Lima’s case. The judge may order De Lima’s arrest, he said.
Aguirre also denied that the case filed against the senator was politically motivated.
De Lima earlier said she was prepared to become a "political prisoner".
“I have long prepared myself to be the first political prisoner under this regime, because the criminal charges and prosecution are nothing less than a politically motivated act by the Duterte regime to clamp down on any vocal opposition against its support for a policy of EJK [extra-judicial killing] in dealing with suspected criminals,” she said in a statement.