De Lima finds inspiration from youth activists

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For their idealism and energy, opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has counted the youth activists as among her sources of hope that inspire her to openly defy Mr. Duterte and fight his flawed and oppressive policies.

In her message during the “Youth Act Now Against Tyranny” Cultural Night last April 9, De Lima said the younger generation should continue to step up their fight for human rights and democracy and inspire genuine change among the populace.

“Jose Rizal was 26 years old when Noli Me Tangere was published. Andres Bonifacio was 29 when Katipunan was founded. Goryo del Pilar was 24 when he faced his death in the Battle of Tirad Pass,” she said.

“The youth, active youth – you are one the reasons why I haven’t lost hope despite my unjust detention for more than two years now and despite the darkness and despair the Duterte regime has brought upon our nation,” she added.

The event, held at the Visayas Avenue Diliman, Quezon City, was attended by national youth and student organizations, community-based youth groups, and youth leaders advocating to end violence and killings in the country, among others.

The lady Senator from Bicol said she believes that Duterte and his cronies cannot succeed in their sinister agendas as long as the Filipino youth stand by human rights and continue to call out the excesses of the government.

“Nakapagngingitngit ang tahasang pagkanulo sa soberenya at teritoryo ng ating bansa. [N]akapanghihina rin ng loob na sa yugtong ito ng kampanyang elektoral ay tila namamayagpag pa ang mga kandidato ni Duterte. Paano na tayo kapag naging sunud-sunuran na rin sa diktador ang Senado?” she asked.

“Ngunit hindi tayo pwedeng sumuko! Matibay ang aking paniniwalang hangga’t may mga kabataang katulad n’yong mulat at aktibong kumikilos, may pag-asa ang ating bayan!” she added.

The former justice secretary said she likewise expects the youth to continue demanding the government for proper investigation into the alleged links of Mr. Duterte’s families and his Chinese allies into the illegal drug trade in the country.

“Nakakabahala rin na sa kabila ng mga lumalabas na patunay na peke ang ‘War on Drugs’ sapagkat may posibilidad na mismong pamilya ni Duterte at malalapit na kaibigan ay sangkot sa iligal na droga, tahimik pa rin ang marami sa ating mga kababayan,” she said.

“Sa mga darating na araw, lalo pang titindi ang laban na ito pagka’t marami pa rin sa ating mga kababayan ang hindi pa rin nagigising o hindi umaaming sila ay nagkamali at niloko,” she added.

Note that former presidential economic adviser Michael Yang was recently implicated in the illegal drug trade while presidential son Paolo Duterte was tagged as among the syndicate leaders who purportedly got kickbacks from the illegal drug trade.

The lady Senator from Bicol vowed that she will never waver in supporting the youth activists in resisting the tyrant in Malacanang even as she thanked them for serving as a good inspiration to the Filipino public who are hungry for change. Considered as the staunchest critic of the Duterte administration’s most murderous war on drugs, De Lima was arrested in February 2017 based on trumped-up charges that have no basis but the perjured testimonies of mostly convicted felons.

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