De Lima on 5th year in detention: I don’t regret standing up vs Duterte’s inhumane policies

De Lima on 5th year in detention: I don’t regret standing up vs Duterte’s inhumane policies

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima reiterated that she does not regret her decision to stand up against the inhumane policies of the Duterte administration which has kept her in unjust detention for the past five years.
In an open letter to the Filipino people published in time for her 5th year in unjust detention today (Feb. 24), De Lima said she is willing to endure the challenges brought about by her political persecution to fight against injustice and protect the interests of the public.
“Hindi ako nagnakaw sa bayan, hindi rin nagtaksil sa Konstitusyon, hindi umabuso sa mandato, at walang pagkukulang sa obligasyon sa buwis at pagsasapubliko ng SALN.
“Malinis ang aking track record at paninilbihan sa bayan mula nang ako ay Chairperson ng Commission on Human Rights, Secretary ng Department of Justice, at ngayon bilang inyong Senador,” she said.
“Ang puno’t dahilan lamang ng pagpapakulong sa akin: hindi ako nagpikit-mata sa extrajudicial killings at paggamit sa kapangyarihan ng Estado para abusuhin ang karapatang pantao. Ginawan ako ng imbentong mga kaso at pinag-initan ng nasa Palasyo,” she added.
De Lima stressed: “Wala po akong pagsisisi. Handa akong indahin ang lahat ng persekusyon kung ito ang magiging papel ko sa ating bayan sa pagpapamulat na ang karapatang pantao ay para sa lahat, at ito ang pinakamataas na sagisag ng hustisya.”
The staunchest critic of the administration’s war on drugs, De Lima was illegally detained since Feb. 24, 2017 on charges that were mostly based on manufactured evidence and perjured testimonies of convicted criminals and shady characters. She was already acquitted in one of her three trumped-up drug cases.
Despite her lack of access to communication devices, De Lima has continued to speak out on injustices, human rights violations and other burning national issues through her handwritten statements. She has also managed to fulfill her electoral mandate having passed into law meaningful legislations, and filed over 700 bills and resolutions.
“Sa anim na taon, wala akong isyung iniwasan basta kapakanan ng Pilipinas at ng taumbayan ang nakataya, kahit na hindi popular, kahit na alam kong babalikan ako ng batikos at black propaganda, uulanin ng fake news, at ng matinding pagyurak sa aking karapatan at pagkatao,” she said.
“Mula rito sa aking selda, papel at panulat lamang ang gamit ko bilang komunikasyon sa inyo para patuloy na magampanan ang aking trabaho. Kaya dito rin sa kulungan isinulat ang mga panukala ko na ngayon ay batas na, gaya ng Institutionalization of 4Ps Act, Magna Carta of the Poor Act, National Commission of Senior Citizens Act, at Community-Based Monitoring System Act,” she added.
De Lima admitted that being detained for the past five years is challenging professionally and personally, but she said that she continues to draw strength from the people who continue to fight with and for her.
“Sa unang taon pa lang, libo-libong sulat na ang natanggap ko mula sa inyo, grupo man o indibidwal, at mga larawan ng pakikiisa at pagmamahal. Pinaramdam ninyo sa akin na hindi ako nag-iisa, at hindi balewala ang mga sakripisyo. Dinamayan ninyo ako. Maraming, maraming salamat,” she said.
As a re-electionist for the 2022 polls who is launching her campaign from prison, De Lima said she owes it to the Filipino people, especially her supporters, to give her best to secure victory and continue her advocacies.
“Sa eleksyong ito, muli akong tumatakbo para sa ikalawang termino sa Senado para ipagpatuloy ang magaganda nating nasimulan at itaguyod ang ating mga adbokasiya. Alam kong dehado ako dahil wala akong malaking makinarya higit sa aking mga staff at volunteers, at hindi rin personal na makakasama sa kampanya. Pero ibubuhos ko ang lahat ng makakaya sa labang ito,” De Lima concluded.

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