By Deighton Acuin


Malacañang said the imprisonment of opposition Senator Leila De Lima proves that the government’s controversial campaign against illegal drugs is not only targeting the poor.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, in a media briefing, made the statement in response to a query on whether the war on drugs only targets the poor after suspected drug lord Peter Lim reportedly fled the country while the drug suspects in the marginalized sector were killed or put behind bars. 

“Unang una po, wanted si Peter Lim, wala po siyang kalayaan. Pangalawa po, nakakulong po si Senator Leila de Lima, proof na hindi lang po mahihirap ang tinatarget dito sa war on drugs,” he said.

One of the known opposition figures, De Lima has been detained since 2017 due to drug charges of which she has repeatedly denied.

The lawmaker has been acquitted by the Marikina Regional Trial Court on one of the charges filed against her last February this year.

Meanwhile, Roque said Lim’s alleged departure has yet to be confirmed by immigration authorities. However, Interior Secretary Eduardo Año earlier said the suspected drug lord might have left the country.

“Wala pa naman pong kumpirmasyon po yan. Dahil ang sabi po ng ating Department of Justice, na under po ang Immigration, wala po silang record na nakalabas po si Peter Lim,” Roque said.

“Pero nonetheless, nasa watchlist naman po ng Interpol si Peter Lim. At saka I’m sure po na gagawa ng hakbang ang DOJ to cancel his passport and to make sure na because he has no travel documentation, that wherever he may be kung abroad man siya e maalerto yung mga receiving state kung nasasaan siya,” the Palace official added.