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Duterte to De Lima on drug cases: Face the music

GMA News Online logo GMA News Online 2/18/2017 Kaufman, Karl
Rodrigo Duterte and Leila de Lima composite © Provided by GMA News Online Rodrigo Duterte and Leila de Lima composite

President Rodrigo Duterte on Friday urged Senator Leila de Lima to accept the consequences of her actions after the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed three drug-related cases against her.

"She will have to face the music," Duterte told reporters in Davao City.

Duterte said he believes the cases against De Lima are strong, pointing out that it took months and several witnesses to develop the cases.

"Alam naman ng Pilipino iyan. Alam naman ng Pilipino ang istilo niya," he said.

De Lima, a vocal critic of the Duterte administration's violent war against illegal drugs, was charged before the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court earlier in the day.

A former Justice secretary, De Lima was accused of violating Section 5 (sale and trading of illegal drugs) in relation to Section 3 (jj), Section 26 (b), and Section 28 (criminal liability of government officials and employees) of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

Government prosecutors said De Lima tolerated drug syndicates inside the national penitentiary in exchange for campaign funds in the 2016 polls during her term as secretary of the Department of Justice.

The neophyte lawmaker has repeatedly denied the charges, describing them as political persecution. She said she is ready to be the first "political prisoner" under the Duterte administration. —Trisha Macas/KBK, GMA News

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