MANILA, Philippines – Overnight, the Philippines' top Twitter trends included 3 about Senator Leila de Lima: "Muntinlupa RTC," referring to the court branch handling the drug charges against her; #LeilaWatch, and #DeLimaArrest.
Netizens used these hashtags as they watched De Lima's arrest unfold online and on TV, from the issuance of the warrant on Thursday night, February 24, to her arrival at Camp Crame for booking procedures and her eventual detention starting Friday morning, February 25.
De Lima's arrest is the culmination of a 5-month high-profile investigation of her alleged links to drug lords detained in the New Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa, charges that she said were concocted by the administration to silence its fiercest critic.
The event generated a lot of reactions on social media, both negative and positive. Below is a sampling of what netizens have been posting:
Some were thrilled by news of the Senator's arrest, and took to poking fun at her. The overall sentiment among De Lima's critics appeared to be celebratory, and many delighted in chastising her.
ngayon delima humihingi ka ng dasal.. noon ba naisip mo yan... hinihintay ka na ni satanas — NuMbNuTz23!! (@brgyginebramcjh) February 24, 2017 There is such a thing as a political prisoner. De Lima is not despite their efforts to claim her as such. — Arienne (@ajhodreal) February 24, 2017 @JGimoro SA WAKAS! may awa ang Diyos! ikulong na ang demonyotang iyan! #narcosenator De Lima to jail! FOREVER :) — coffeejellyace9 (@coffeejellyace9) February 24, 2017 “It is my honour to be imprisoned for the things I am fighting for,” de Lima said. Lol — Connie, RN (@CoOwness) February 24, 2017 *watches de lima get arrested* *eats popcorn* — janna. (@RenaissanceXOXO) February 24, 2017 Goodbye De Lima. Dont Come back — Paul (@paaulguno) February 24, 2017 Big day for Philippines! haynako De Lima :) kulit mo kase. yan tuloy. #LeilaWatch #DeLimaArrest — Carl Kenneth Galve (@galvsgalvs) February 24, 2017 SABI NI DELIMA WALA DAW SIYANG KASALANAN.. SINO ANG MAY KASALANAN SA PAG KALAT NG DROGA SA BUONG PILIPINAS... SI BATMAN? — ARSENIO ANTONIO (@nagelguru) February 24, 2017 Nagpalechon ang boss dahil nakulong daw si De Lima. O___O — SerMel (@bruzli_03) February 24, 2017 It's Friday and De Lima's arrested. What a nice day — Ahh ahh ahh (@hicpedrosa) February 24, 2017
There were also netizens who were indignant about the arrest. These included those who claimed not to be fans of De Lima herself, but were suspicious of the speed of the arrest and its implications. Others still were convinced of her innocence, and saw her arrest as unsubstantiated or a case of political persecution.
Why should we be worried about the De Lima arrest? We could be next. This admin will not ask for hard evidence. Laway lang ang puhunan nila — BARBSbq (@BesprenOfManila) February 24, 2017 If this Delima bugaloo leads to Top Druglords Co and Colangco free, it would expose this War on Drugs as the sham that it really is. — Henry the Generous (@LaconicHenry) February 24, 2017 I feel so sorry for Sen. De lima, never been a fan of her or what pero this is too much. #freedelima — Kib (@Clifford_Sia) February 24, 2017 wag na kayo magpaloko alam namin na ginagawa niyo to para mapatahimik si delima #FreeDeLima — Toff Watbaboy (@toffwatbaboy) February 24, 2017 I am not defending De Lima, I assume she is involved truly in this drugs dealing but can they show atleast evidence? Sobrang premature eh — Ranze Aaron (@rnzrncldrn) February 24, 2017 Arroyo - out, Napoles - out, De Lima - in. There must be a call that the masses be informed of what politics is in the PH. — Marian Cabuyadao (@buchikongs) February 24, 2017 sana mabigyan ng right protection and security si de lima. natatakot ako baka...huhu 'wag naman sana! laban, de lima!!!! #LeilaWatch — Annapolis Keating (@sebastiancruth) February 24, 2017 @bettinamalveda true :( not a de lima fan din pero parang violated na din yung process :( awwww — mervin demapelis (@mementoofdpast) February 24, 2017 Praying that Sen. De Lima will be safe wherever she'll be detained. Mayor Espinosa was killed inside his cell. — Angel P. (@angelpaglicawan) February 24, 2017 There's a disturbing thread of 'elite-comeuppance' that seems to be coursing through de Lima's arrest: Ethics be damned, look at her suffer. — Nik (@iwriteasiwrite) February 24, 2017 @vinthon12 kahit ayoko kay De Lima, if they accused her based on hearsay lang and without proper evidence, so wrong pdin. — kylie (@kyliebrklw) February 24, 2017