Embattled Senator Leila de Lima was emotional when she faced the media on the eve of her arrest, saying she would take the remaining time she had to say goodbye to her family before she surrenders to authorities.
De Lima said she would likewise prepare the things she would be bringing to jail.
“I will return tomorrow morning. I’m thankful to my colleagues in the Liberal Party,” De Lima said.
In the hastily called press conference, De Lima thanked Senate President Pro Tempore Franklin Drilon, Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Paolo “Bam” Aquino IV, and Sen. Risa Hontiveros for rallying behind her cause.
“I’m just asking for prayers that I would be safe and secure wherever they bring me, wherever they decide to detain me,” she said.
“I’m leaving it to my lawyers to come up with legal remedies to address these questionable charges they are hurling against me,” she added.
The LP led by Sen. Pangilinan condemned the political persecution of De Lima, a political enemy of President Duterte.
“We repeat: The Sandiganbayan, not the RTC (regional trial court), has jurisdiction over the case as the alleged wrongdoings were supposedly committed when she was Justice Secretary,’’ the LP statement said.
“We fear for Senator Leila’s life and security given what happened to Albuera Mayor Espinosa and Korean businessman Jee Ick Joo, who were both killed inside police-controlled facilities,’’ it added.
Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III, meantime, earlier said the beleaguered lady solon could ask policemen tasked to enforce the court order that she should instead be arrested tomorrow morning.
“Our concern is her safety and security. No. 2, she continues to function as a senator and No. 3 we will respect the court order,’’ Pimentel said. (Mario Casayuran, Hannah Torregoza)