Muntinlupa court grants bail to top Duterte critic Leila de Lima

November 13, 2023 - 2:59 PM
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Leila de Lima
Former senator Leila de Lima as photographed in 2019 while under police custody. (Reuters/File)

— Philippine court on Monday granted bail to a former senator and staunch critic of ex-President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody “war on drugs”, the defendant’s lawyer said, which could see her walk free after more than six years in detention.

The bail was granted for a drug case that accused Leila de Lima, a former justice minister, of conspiring to support the illegal narcotics trade in a Philippine prison.

“She will be released hopefully today,” Filibon Tacardon, her legal counsel, told Reuters by phone.

De Lima’s camp in June filed for a reconsideration of the court’s rejection of a bail petition.

She has long insisted all the charges against her were baseless and politically motivated.

Those came within months of her launching a Senate inquiry into an anti-drugs crackdown by Duterte that caught international attention after thousands of users and dealers were killed by police or in mysterious circumstances.

The popular Duterte, whose term ended in 2022, had accused her of colluding with drugs gangs in jails and humiliated her in public speeches, prompting hate campaigns orchestrated by his vast social media following.

– Reporting by Neil Jerome Morales; Editing by Martin Petty