- Anakbayan slammed Senator De Lima’s claim that she will be the first political prinoner under the Duterte regime
- The youth group said the senator trivialized the meaning of political prisoner
- The Justice Secretary also criticized De Lima’s statement
Anakbayan, the democratic mass organization of Filipino youth, said Senator Leila De Lima cannot be considered as a political prisoner once she is arrested.
Kevin Aguayon, spokesperson of Anakbayan-Metro Manila, slammed the lady senator’s statement regarding her impeding arrest due to several charges filed against her by the Department of Justice over her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade.
“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 EJK (extrajudicial killings) in dealing with suspected criminals,” De Lima said last week.
In an interview with Hataw Tabloid, Aguayon accused Senator De Lima of trivializing the meaning of political prisoner. He said she can’t be a political detainee since she is facing drug-related cases.
The young activist said a real political prisoner is one who defends the people and detained by the state over trumped up cases.
Department of Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre, likewise, condemned De Lima’s statement.
“It is wrong for Senator De Lima to refer to herself as a political prisoner. Drug cases do not involve one’s political beliefs. It involves one’s choice to be involved in illegal drugs,” he said.