MANILA, Philippines – Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday marked her 1,000th day in detention, calling it unjust and illegal, since she was arrested for drug-related charges.
In a statement, De Lima said that until now, she still feels disbelief over her ordeal and described her time in detention as days of “isolation, restrictions and restraints, agitations, doubts, and apprehensions.”
A vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration, De Lima was arrested in 2017 over allegations she was behind the proliferation of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prisons especially during her stint as Department of Justice Secretary under the term of President Benigno Aquino III.
She was also accused of accepting drug money to fund her senatorial campaign in 2016 elections.
The senator has repeatedly denied the drug allegations, as well as claims that she protected drug lords.
De Lima, however, said that being in detention had its benefits for her.
“But there’s the other side, the good side,” she added. “1,000 days of a contemplative life of simple joys and wants, of prayerful reflections. Days of sustained sanity and willpower. The will to survive, and overcome.”
She also said that physical restrictions “did not prevent her from truly being “free.”
“I’m freer than most. Free to think and feel. Free to speak out. Free to fight. Unbelievable graces from the great Giver!” she said.
The lawmaker said that despite being detained, she still managed to fulfill her electoral mandate by authoring 52 bills and 20 resolutions.
She said she also co-authored three bills and five resolutions, so far, in the 18th Congress.
Supporters of the Senator have also marked her 1,000th year in detention in a gathering in Quezon City and Iriga City in Camarines Sur on Wednesday.
An indignation run, dubbed “#1KNotOK Indignation Run,” will also be held in the said areas to protest De Lima’s detention, and rally for her freedom.
The run in Quezon City was organized by the Human Rights and People Empowerment Center, the University of the Philippines Diliman University Student Council and Tindig Pilipinas, while the run in Camarines Sur was led by De Lima’s youngest brother, Vicente “Vicboy” M. de Lima II.
In seeking reelection, De Lima said she wants to restore justice in the next administration and vowed to demand an accounting of President Rodrigo Duterte’s unfulfilled campaign promises.
De Lima, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, has been in detention since 2017 at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center at Camp Crame for her alleged involvement in the narcotics trade.
She has repeatedly denied the drug-related charges against her.
Prior to being elected as senator in 2016, she served as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights and secretary of the Department of Justice.
MANILA, Philippines – The Liberal Party (LP) on Tuesday announced the nominations of Senators Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Leila de Lima, as well as former Senator Bam Aquino, as its senatorial candidates for the 2022 elections.
In a statement, the LP said the formal nomination of Pangilinan, de Lima, and Aquino happened during the party’s virtual National Executive Council Meeting.
Aquino has yet to announce his plans for the upcoming polls.
The gathering was attended by LP party chairperson and Vice President Leni Robredo, Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, Quezon City Representative Christopher “Kit” Belmonte, and former lawmakers Teddy Baguilat and Erin Tañada, among others.
The LP said it also passed a resolution endorsing Senator Risa Hontiveros and Atty. Chel Diokno as part of its initial list of guest senatorial candidates, for being aligned with the party’s principles.
The former ruling party also passed another resolution granting Robredo full authority and discretion in initiating talks and coming up with agreements, as well as identifying and assembling a united national slate of candidates for president, vice president and senators, “while respecting her preference on the elective position she may decide to run for, if any, with the full support by the Party as a whole.”
Robredo has yet to announce her plans for the 2022 elections.
The period for the filing of candidacy will be from October 1 to 8.
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday clapped back at President Rodrigo Duterte for bringing up old Commission on Audit (COA) reports on the supposed unliquidated funds of agencies that she and former Interior Secretary Mar Roxas respectively handled during the previous administration.
“For someone who cannot even publicly disclose and release his own SALN, Duterte’s accusation against me and Sec. Mar Roxas regarding COA’s past reports on our agencies is just plain rich in irony and hypocrisy,” De Lima said in a statement.
De Lima served as Justice secretary while Roxas led the Department of the Interior and Local Government during the time of the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III.
During a public address on Tuesday night, Duterte mentioned De Lima and Roxas who were also reported by COA to have unliquidated cash advance and fund transfers in their respective agencies in 2013 and 2014.
But De Lima said Duterte’s act of raising the issue is “a clear case of misdirection.”
“I challenge Duterte to file cases with the Ombudsman arising from those COA reports. He cannot, because those accounts have long been settled and closed. The COA knows that,” she said.
She also said that neither of them threatened COA for releasing audit reports and that other Cabinet members of the Aquino administration “always took COA reports seriously, corrected whatever deficiencies were identified in those reports, and acted accordingly to comply with COA recommendations.”
“Hindi kami katulad ng mga ilang tao sa gobyerno ni Duterte na magngangangawngaw sa telebisyon, at lalong hindi katulad ni PNoy si Duterte na pagbabantaan ang COA dahil lamang ginawa nito ang trabaho nila,” she said.
“Walang nagsisigaw sa aming dalawa sa telebisyon na winarak kami ng COA,” she said in an apparent swipe at Health Secretary Francisco Duque III.
COA called out the Department of Health under Duque over alleged deficiencies in the use of its funds for COVID-19 response.
De Lima, a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, is currently detained over drug-related charges.
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