MANILA - Senator Leila De Lima on Friday said she is expecting her arrest to be effected on Monday next week after the Department of Justice (DOJ) filed criminal charges against her with the Regional Trial Court (RTC) of Muntinlupa.
In a statement, De Lima said her lawyers are "on top of the situation" and will be filing the corresponding motions as soon as the cases are raffled to a specific RTC branch.
"I have long prepared myself to be the first political prisoner under this regime, because the criminal charges and prosecution are nothing less than a politically motivated act by the Duterte regime to clamp down on any vocal opposition against its support for a policy of extrajudicial killing (EJK) in dealing with suspected criminals," De Lima said.
She said the looming imprisonment based on what she claimed were false charges, even as the release of the pork barrel scandal's suspected principal, businesswoman Janet Lim Napoles, is being supported by the Office of the Solicitor General, "is the wake up call that our country needs."
"Change has, indeed, come, and it has come to devour our sense of justice and morality – where right is turned to wrong, and wrong is made right," De Lima said.
De Lima said, "if the loss of my freedom is the price to pay for standing up against the butchery of the Duterte regime, then it is a price I am willing to pay."
"But they are mistaken if they think my fight ends here. It has only begun. This is the kind of vindictive politics that we only expect from this regime," she said.