CONFLICTS

Philippine leader's critic faces charges, possible arrest

  • In this Feb. 13, 2017 photo, Philippine Sen. Leila de Lima takes her seat during a session in the Philippine Senate in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. Philippine justice secretary said Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, criminal charges have been filed against the opposition senator allegedly receiving money from detained drug lords in a move that can lead to the arrest of one of the president's most vocal critics. De Lima has denied the charges as "political persecution" by President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)

    In this Feb. 13, 2017 photo, Philippine Sen. Leila de Lima takes her seat during a session in the Philippine Senate in suburban Pasay city, south of Manila, Philippines. Philippine justice secretary said Friday, Feb. 17, 2017, criminal charges have been filed against the opposition senator allegedly receiving money from detained drug lords in a move that can lead to the arrest of one of the president's most vocal critics. De Lima has denied the charges as "political persecution" by President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. (AP Photo/Bullit Marquez)  (The Associated Press)

  • Philippine Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II displays a document showing criminal charges that were filed against opposition Sen. Leila de Lima during a press conference in Manila, Philippines, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. Aguirre said state prosecutors filed three charges against Sen. Leila de Lima for allegedly receiving money from detained drug lords in a move that can lead to the arrest of one of the president's most vocal critics. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II displays a document showing criminal charges that were filed against opposition Sen. Leila de Lima during a press conference in Manila, Philippines, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. Aguirre said state prosecutors filed three charges against Sen. Leila de Lima for allegedly receiving money from detained drug lords in a move that can lead to the arrest of one of the president's most vocal critics. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

  • Philippine Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II gestures during a press conference in Manila, Philippines, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. Aguirre said state prosecutors have filed three criminal charges against opposition Sen. Leila de Lima for allegedly receiving money from detained drug lords in a move that can lead to the arrest of one of the president's most vocal critics. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)

    Philippine Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II gestures during a press conference in Manila, Philippines, Friday, Feb. 17, 2017. Aguirre said state prosecutors have filed three criminal charges against opposition Sen. Leila de Lima for allegedly receiving money from detained drug lords in a move that can lead to the arrest of one of the president's most vocal critics. (AP Photo/Aaron Favila)  (The Associated Press)

The Philippine justice secretary says criminal charges have been filed against an opposition senator for allegedly receiving money from detained drug lords in a move that can lead to the arrest of one of the president's most vocal critics.

Justice Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II said state prosecutors filed three charges against Sen. Leila de Lima and several other people for violations of an anti-illegal drugs law.

De Lima has denied the charges as "political persecution" by President Rodrigo Duterte's administration. She has unsuccessfully tried to have the tough-talking Duterte prosecuted when he was still a city mayor over his deadly crackdown on illegal drugs, which he later expanded on a nationwide scale after becoming president.

Thousands of suspected drug users and dealers have been killed.