MANILA, Philippines- Embattled Sen. Leila de Lima, who is currently facing drug trafficking charges, surrendered to the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (PNP-CIDG) on Friday at around 8:10 a.m.
“Haharapin ko na yung team ng CIDG na magseserve ng warrant of arrest. Sasalang na ako sa kanila voluntarily (I am about to face the CIDG team who will serve my warrant of arrest. I’m voluntarily surrendering),” De Lima told reporters before facing the arresting team.
She stood by her innocence anew and denied any involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison during her term as Justice Secretary.
She said she will leave it to the Lord to help her overcome her challenges and believed that the truth will eventually come out.
She also asked her family, friends and supporters to pray for her safety.
Before the Office of the Senate Sergeant-at-Arms turned over De Lima to the PNP-CIDG, De Lima’s spiritual adviser Fr. Robert Reyes led a mass for her and her staff.
Liberal Party acting president and Sen. Francis Pangilinan, De Lima’s partymate, was also present during the mass.
To recall, the PNP-CIDG came to serve De Lima’s arrest Thursday night, breaking the agreement to serve it Friday morning.
De Lima left the Senate Thursday at 7 p.m. to her home in Parañaque City to get her belongings, expecting to surrender to authorities the next day.
However, she returned to the Senate immediately upon knowing that the arresting team was on their way to her house.
The neophyte senator, who was back in the Senate at 10 p.m., told reporters that the PNP-CIDG went against their arrangement that she would be allowed to go home and be with family until morning.
Her two sons and several supporters eventually visited her in her office in the Senate where she spent the night.
Muntinlupa RTC Branch 204 Judge Juanita Guerrero issued the arrest warrant against De Lima and her co-accused, former Bureau of Corrections officer-in-charge Rafael Ragos and her former driver-bodyguard and alleged drug money bagman Ronnie Dayan.
They were charged with violation of Section 5 (sale) in relation to Section 3 (jj trading), Section 26 (b) and Section 28 or the criminal liability of government officials and employees of Republic Act 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.
“The court finds probable cause for the issuance of warrants of arrest against all the accused Leila De Lima, Rafael Marcos Ragos and Ronnie Palisoc Dayan,” the court order read.
It is not yet clear where De Lima will be detained but she earlier expressed disapproval to be jailed in the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame. (PNA)