Senator Leila de Lima to be arrested on drug charges
A regional Muntinlupa City court issued an arrest warrant today for Senator Leila de Lima.
The order comes "after a careful evaluation of the... information and all the evidence presented during the preliminary investigation conducted in this case by the Department of Justice" and just days after the surprising turnaround testimony by self-described Davao Death Squad leader Arthur Lascanas implicated President Duterte.
With the arrest of the former chair of the Commission on Human Rights imminent, the spotlight is now once again on the drug allegations faced by the Senator. PNP Chief Ronald dela Rosa recently assured de Lima's safety at Camp Crame, offering her to stay at the police headquarters' custodial center, which was also the site of the murder by police officers of South Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo.
In addition, the order also calls for former Bureau of Customs chief Rafael Marcos Z. Ragos and de Lima's former driver Ronnie Palisoc Dayan to be taken into custody.
De Lima's legal situation was precarious and her arrest expected, with Duterte and other government officials calling for her imprisonment in relation to her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison. Earlier this week, Human Rights Watch called the charges against her "politically motivated" as well as "political vindictiveness that debases the rule of law in the Philippines."