Jailed Senator Leila De Lima has described the first year of Filipino President Rodrigo Duterte as days full of lies and fake news. She also challenged the government to stop the reported extrajudicial killings in relation to the president's campaign on illegal drugs.
The justice minster-turned-senator, who was earlier investigating President Duterte on his links to extrajudicial killings, said that there are other lawful measures that the government can deploy to eradicate drugs.
However, as the word war begun, Duterte accused De Lima of protecting the illegal drug usage at the national prison. De Lima is now facing a string of cases related to drugs and abuse of her authority as former Justice secretary. She was also reported to have solicited drug money to fund her senatorial bid.
"All these accusations against me are product of lies, fake cases and fake news," De Lima told reporters after a court hearing at the Muntinlupa City Court.
De Lima and Duterte have been at odds since the former started investigating the president's link to the extrajudicial killings of more than 3,000 drug suspects in the country. However, Duterte turned the table by saying that De Lima is involved in Philippines' illegal drug trade. Moreover, he also held her responsible for the proliferation of illegal drugs within the national jail.
De Lima was removed through a Senate majority vote and was replaced by a veteran senator Richard Gordon.
Detained since March 2017, the former senator said that the war on drugs is only victimising poor criminals and not the drug lords. She has also challenged the Duterte government to run after the big kingpins, who are serving as protectors of the illegal drug industry.