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MANILA, Philippines – 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.