SEN. Leila de Lima, who spent Thursday night in her Senate office, gave up at 8 a.m. on Friday to police officers who waited overnight to serve the warrant for her arrest issued by a Muntinlupa City trial court on drug trading charges.
She did not feign illness. So she didn’t have props such as wheelchairs or neck braces like former president Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo when she was arrested on Nov. 18, 2011 for electoral fraud.
Police said her blood pressure rose slightly when she was booked in Camp Crame, but it soon returned to normal.
There were no reports on whether she saw ex-senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada, who were jailed in Camp Crame for plunder under de Lima’s watch as justice department chief.
Sen. de Lima sounded defiant before turning herself in, saying, “I trust in God to allow me to overcome all this. In the end the truth will come out and justice will be mine.”
She said “it is an honor to be jailed for what I believe in” and insisted her arrest and imprisonment won’t silence her and stop her from fighting for truth and justice against the daily killings and other oppression.
But now it can be told that she had experienced the awesome powers of the state that she once wielded.
House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez said de Lima’s arrest on charges over her alleged links to the drug trade inside the New Bilibid Prison is a “victory of the war against drugs” and “shows justice is working in our beloved nation.”
But Sen. Risa Hontiveros saw her arrest “on baseless accusations” as “outright political persecution and a travesty of the country’s justice system” and a “throwback to an authoritarian past.”
This was in reference to the Marcos dictatorship, whose ouster 31 years ago will be commemorated today.
But President Rody Duterte has not yet declared martial law. Does it mean political persecution can be done without resorting to martial law? So pray tell me, who needs martial law?
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 25, 2017.
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