De Lima detained, determined to clear name

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2017 04:31 PM

Senator Leila De Lima listens to the arresting officer, while her warrant of arrest is read, at the Philippine Senate on Friday. Junny Roy, ABS-CBN News

MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima has been formally detained at the Custodial Center in Camp Crame Friday, following her arrest over allegations she had ties to the illegal drug trade. 

De Lima is now in her detention cell after undergoing orientation, her lawyer Atty. Alex Padilla said.

Prior to detention, De Lima maintained her innocence and claimed that her arrest was President Rodrigo Duterte's way of silencing critics.

"Clearly, this administration has evil and dangerous plans: to make an example of me to intimidate, silence, and destroy anyone who dares challenge them; to draw public attention away from the government’s abuses and failures; and to cover up their most murderous war on drugs," De Lima said in a video message recorded at the Senate prior to her arrest.

De Lima said Duterte has had a "fixation for revenge" against her after she called for an investigation against the alleged Davao Death Squad during her tenure as Commission on Human Rights chair.

De Lima, arrested at the Senate Friday morning, was presented to the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court before she underwent booking procedures at Camp Crame. 

Police took her mug shots before she was brought to what sources claim was a "decent, dignified" detention cell. 

DE LIMA'S DETENTION CELL

The senator's Liberal Party-mate, Dinagat Islands Representative Kaka Bag-ao said De Lima's detention cell is the size two single beds. 

She said the Senator's cell at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center currently has a single bed, table, and a ceiling fan.

De Lima can accept visitors from 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Tuesdays to Friday but with a 10-day notice, according to Bag-ao.

PNP spokesperson, Senior Superintendent Dionardo Carlos earlier said in a news conference that the former detention rooms of former Senator Juan Ponce Enrile or of Communist-rebel couple Benito and Wilma Tiamzon are among the cells where De Lima might be placed.

Carlos said that the safety and security of the senator will be observed round the clock.

Malacanang also assured De Lima's safety while in detention.

RIFT WITH DUTERTE

De Lima has a long-standing rift with Duterte, whom she accused of leading the Davao Death Squad, an alleged vigilante group behind hundreds of killings in Davao City. 

Duterte in turn accused De Lima of allowing drug operations to flourish at the New Bilibid Prisons during her term as justice secretary, with drug profits used to fund her senatorial campaign. 

Both officials denied the accusations. 

- with reports from Arianne Merez, Adrian Ayalin and Kevin Manalo, ABS-CBN News