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De Lima: Imprisonment price of standing up to Duterte

Sen. Leila de Lima has long prepared herself to be the first political prisoner in President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. File/Geremy Pintolo
MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima said on Friday that she is already prepared to go to jail for what she said is her opposition to the Duterte administration.
 
She added that that the criminal charges against her are "nothing less than a politically motivated act" to silence any vocal opposition against a policy supporting extrajudicial killings to deal with suspected criminals.
 
"If the loss of my freedom is the price I have to pay for standing up against the butchery of the Duterte regime, then it is a price I am willing to pay," De Lima said in a released statement.
 
The Department of Justice filed three cases against De Lima on Friday for her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison during her time as Justice secretary.
 
The complaints were filed before the Muntinlupa Regional Trial court, the same city that the NBP is located.
 
 
De Lima said that her lawyers will be filing the corresponding motions as as soon as the cases are raffled to a specific branch.
 
"They are mistaken if they think my fights ends here. It has only begun," De Lima said.
 
She added that her impending imprisonment and the release of Janet Lim-Napoles is the wake-up call the country needs.
 
"This is the kind of vindictive politics that we can only hope for this regime," De Lima said.
 
She also said that despite the authoritarian methods used by the current administration, she will "continue to fight this battle and wage our own war for human rights and democracy."
 
"In the end, justice will prevail and we will be vindicated," De Lima said.
 
President Rodrigo Duterte had repeatedly accused De Lima of benefiting from the illegal drug activities inside the BNP.
 
De Lima however, has repeatedly denied the allegations and reiterated her innocence.
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