Leila de Lima

‘Near-death’ hostage-taking: De Lima thought she would not come out alive

Dwight de Leon

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‘Near-death’ hostage-taking: De Lima thought she would not come out alive

SAFE. Former senator Leila de Lima with Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos on October 9, 2022.

Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos

Former senator Leila de Lima thanks the police for their 'timely intervention,' but adds she never imagined being subjected to a hostage-taking incident on top of her 'unjust detention'

MANILA, Philippines – Former senator Leila de Lima said she is safe following a hostage-taking at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center inside Camp Crame in Quezon City on Sunday morning, October 9, but admitted she thought the “near-death experience” would be the end of her.

In a statement released on Sunday afternoon, the detained opposition figure said she is only experiencing “lingering pain” in her chest where the hostage-taker “constantly pressed the point of his knife.”

Three inmates linked to terrorist groups tried to escape detention on Sunday morning, but were later killed by police. One cop was injured.

“After being told by the hostage-taker that since his two other companions were already dead, he’s certain he would also be killed and he might just as well also kill me, I consider what happened to me as a near-death experience,” De Lima said.

“If not for the timely intervention of the Philippine National Police security force, I don’t think I would have come out alive since the hostage-taker was already determined to die and take me with him,” she added.

De Lima, a critic of now-former president Rodrigo Duterte, has been detained since 2017, under the latter’s administration, over what human rights groups believe are trumped-up drug charges.

In February 2021, she was acquitted by a Muntinlupa City court in one of the three drug charges against her.

De Lima said on Sunday she is “trying to recover psychologically and emotionally from this harrowing experience,” adding that she did not imagine being subjected to a hostage-taking incident on top of her “unjust detention.”

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. offered De Lima the option to transfer to a different detention facility, but the former senator declined it, according to Interior Secretary Benhur Abalos. – Rappler.com

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    Bakit ililipat ng selda? Palayain na dapat agad si De Lima.

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Dwight de Leon

Dwight de Leon is a multimedia reporter who covers President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the Malacañang, and the Commission on Elections for Rappler.