Duterte's counsel on De Lima arrest: Law shines triumphantly

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 24 2017 12:31 PM | Updated as of May 26 2017 02:15 PM

Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo. Jonathan Cellona, ABS-CBN News

MANILA- The arrest of Senator Leila de Lima is proof of a working democracy in the country, President Rodrigo Duterte’s chief legal counsel said Friday.

Presidential legal counsel Salvador Panelo said the arrest shows that the law is enforced regardless of who is the subject of the arrest.

“The arrest of Senato De Lima shows that the law is enforced regardless of who is the subject of a warrant of arrest whether the person is holding a high position in the government or has an ordinary status in society,” he said in a statement.

De Lima was arrested Friday morning after charges were filed in a regional trial court accusing her of receiving payoffs from the illegal drug trade inside the national penitentiary.

“The majesty of the law shines triumphantly when a Senator of a Republic is arrested and detained on account of a criminal charge. Such is the working of a democracy,” Panelo added.

The former justice chief, her former driver and bodyguard Ronnie Dayan, and a former national prison official were also ordered arrested by the court.

De Lima vowed to face the drug charges against her, saying she will not back down.

"Karangalan ko po na ako ay makulong dahil sa mga pinaglalaban ko po," she said.

(It is my honor that I will be imprisoned for the things I am fighting for.)