After a few hours of sleep, De Lima ready for long day ahead

Camille Elemia
The senator braces for her day in jail

LONG WAIT. Members of the media wait for the arrest of Senator Leila de Lima. Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – She’s had a good night’s sleep and is ready for what would probably be her longest day as a politician.

“Yes, for a few hours,” Senator Leila de Lima told Rappler via a text message when we asked her if she was able to sleep last night in her office, where she’s been holed out since Thursday night, February 23.

She had breakfast of coffee and pandesal.

The Philippine National Police is set to serve her arrest warrant Friday morning after failing to do so on Thursday. A team from the PNP Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) has been at the Senate building since Thursday night for the arrest. (READ: CIDG gives De Lima until 10 am before arrest)

According to the plan, retired Major General Jose Balajadia, Senate sergeant at arms, will fetch the senator from her office and bring her to the CIDG team, which is expected to bring her to Camp Crame, headquarters of the PNP that runs a detention center for high-profile prisoners. 

SHOW OF SUPPORT. Placards outside the Senate. Photo by Camille Elemia/Rappler

De Lima spent the night at the Senate building in Pasay with her two sons, spiritual adviser Fr Robert Reyes, her staff, and a few supporters. (READ: De Lima son visits mom

Kaunti ang tulog, handang-handa sya sa mangyayari ngayon,” said Fr Reyes. (She had a short sleep, but she’s ready for what is about to happen today.)

A dismayed De Lima had returned to the Senate on Thursday evening, after learning that a team from the  CIDG-National Capital Region (CIDG-NCR) would be arresting her at her home in Parañaque – something she wanted to avoid to spare her family.

De Lima’s lawyers left early Friday for Muntinlupa to file pleadings that are expected to question the jurisdiction of a Muntinlupa court where the drug charges against her were filed. –

Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is Rappler's lead reporter for media, disinformation issues, and democracy. She won an ILO award in 2017. She received the prestigious Fulbright-Hubert Humphrey fellowship in 2019, allowing her to further study media and politics in the US. Email