De Lima prepared to be arrested

MANILA — Sen. Leila de Lima on Monday said that she has long been prepared to be arrested in connection to the durg trafficking cases filed against her.

De Lima made this statement after Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said that the neophyte senator could be arrested “anytime soon.”

“Well, I really don’t know when an arrest warrant will be issued. But Sec. Aguirre has confirmed that the resolution (for the warrant of arrest) would be released very, very soon. And then he had statements like ‘she should better brace herself for an arrest,’” De Lima said.

She said Pres. Rodrigo Duterte himself said several times that he was determined to let her suffer the same fate as former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo who was jailed for plunder charges.

“(The President) has said several times that he wants me locked up in jail to suffer the fate of former Pres. Gloria Macapagal-arroyo. That is his words, not mine. So I have been expecting it for a very long time now,” De Lima said.

To recall, Arroyo was banned by then Justice Secretary Leila De Lima to leave the country to seek medical treatment.

The consolidated complaints against De Lima were filed by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), crime watchdog group Volunteers Against Crime and Corruption (VACC), former NBI deputy directors Reynaldo Esmeralda and Ruel Lasala and high-profile inmate Jaybee Sebastian in connection to her alleged involvement in illegal drug trade in the New Bilibid Prison when she was still Justice Secretary.

The complaints filed against her include indirect bribery, violation of the Anti-Graft Law and violation of the Dangerous Drugs Act.

De Lima, however, said she is hopeful that the Court of Appeals (CA) will issue a temporary restraining order against the preliminary investigation conducted by the DOJ.

She has so far filed two petitions before the CA to stop the DOJ from acting on the criminal complaints.