WATCH: Alvarez declares De Lima top 'drug lord' ahead of court verdict

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte listens as Partido Demokratiko Pilipino-Lakas ng Bayan (PDP-Laban) Secretary General and House Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez speaks to reporters at Malacañan Palace on Monday, March 13, 2017. PPD/Toto Lozano

MANILA, Philippines — Speaker Pantaleon Alvarez publicly called Sen. Leila de Lima the "number 1 drug lord" and "public enemy" ahead of the trial and conviction of the administration's top critic.

At a press conference at Malacañan on Monday, Alvarez urged the public not to believe in statements that only the small fry have paid the price for being involved in the drug trade, citing De Lima as a big catch.

More than 7,000 people, however, have been killed in President Rodrigo Duterte's war on drugs, more than 2,000 of whom were shot down during police operations. Most the suspected "drug personalities" live in shanty towns and were small-time drug dealers, reports show. — Video report by Efigenio Toledo IV

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