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Palace frowns at De Lima in TIME 100 list

22 April 2017, 01:08 | Terri Saunders

Senator Leila de Lima

Senator Leila de Lima

Duterte and De Lima were included in the list, which also had actors, musicians, business leaders, activists and scientists.

MalacaƱang yesterday hailed President Duterte's inclusion in Time magazine's "100 most influential people", but decried the magazine's failure to mention the drug-related charges against his critic Sen.

The senator's strong criticisms of Duterte's drug campaign were highlighted in the profile written by former US Ambassador to the UN Samantha Power.

Duterte got 5 percent of the total "yes" votes in the magazine's online poll, beating Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Pope Francis, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, who each got 3 percent.

The list released on Thursday placed Duterte under the "Leaders" category, while de Lima was listed among "Icons".

The Geneva-based Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) castigated the Philippe's legal justification for de Lima's February arrest on politically motivated drug trafficking charges, saying "there is serious reason to believe that she is targeted due to her outspoken criticism of the impact of the current government's policies on human rights in the Philippines".

De Lima, who started a Senate inquiry on the killings linked to Duterte's clampdown on illegal drugs, was arrested and jailed last February on charges that she took bribes from convicted drug lords.

She has since denied having any involvement in illegal drugs, especially during her time as secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ) under the administration of then President Benigno Aquino III.

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While the write-up on Duterte was mostly a rebuke of his brutal war on illegal drugs, De Lima was portrayed as a figure of resistance against "strongman" rule.

"And yet, even from prison, she continues to speak out against her President: 'It's not O.K. with me that we have a murderous psychopath occupying the highest post in the land, '" she added, quoting one of de Lima's daily dispatches of handwritten notes from her cell.

Gaviria wrote about Duterte's campaign against drugs that reportedly resulted in the deaths of 7,000 people in the country since June 30, 2016, the day the former mayor of Davao City was sworn into office.

"When I was President of Colombia, I was also seduced into taking a tough stance on drugs".

Gaviria's comments did not sit well with Duterte, who called the former Colombian leader an "idiot".

"After spending billions, I discovered that the war was unwinnable and the human costs were devastating".

He said the cure was infinitely worse than the disease. "There are solutions that work", he writes.

He advised Duterte to treat the drug problem as a public health issue instead. Human Rights Watch research has subsequently determined that numerous 3,271 death-squad-style extrajudicial killings the police attribute to "vigilantes" and drug gangs are a veneer to shield themselves and police agents from culpability in death-squad-style extrajudicial executions. "The tragedy is that many more people are likely going to die as he learns this lesson".

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