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The Legal Fight of Philippine Senator Leila de Lima

Former Philippine Senator Leila De Lima was acquitted of the second of three drug charges after key witnesses recanted and said they had lied about her involvement in narcotics trafficking.

De Lima has been detained since 2017 on drug charges she says were fabricated by former President Rodrigo Duterte and his officials in an attempt to muzzle De Lima's senate investigation into Duterte's policy of giving the police impunity to use extrajudicial killings in their war on drugs. This policy resulted in the killings of around 27,000 drug suspects by either the police or vigilantes without giving these suspects the ability to defend themselves in a court of law.

The 2 key witnesses in the case against De Lima, Kerwin Espinosa and former Bureau of Corrections acting chief Rafael Ragos, recanted their testimony.
Both men said they were threatened and pressured by government officials into making false allegations against De Lima.

Leila De Lima remains in jail awaiting the ruling of a third charge against her.

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