Senator Leila M. de Lima today commended the Filipino youth for standing up and speaking out against the continued spate of extrajudicial killings a year since the Duterte administration started its all-out war on illegal drugs.
In her latest Dispatch from Camp Crame in Quezon City, De Lima lauded the organizers of the Youth Resist held at the St. Scholastica’s College Manila for coming up with their own version of the true State of the Nation Address (SONA).
“The youth have broken their silence over the crooked governance of the Duterte administration, including its spreading of fake news to destroy its critics, while diverting us from the real issues, and the continued killings under the bloody war on drugs and the chaos in Mindanao,” she said.
De Lima’s admiration for the youth in nation-building goes way back, having been invited to speak in different colleges in Metro Manila, in her first few months as Senator.
During these dialogues, she had discussed the importance of human rights and the need to stand against the extrajudicial killings committed in the name of the Duterte administration’s war on illegal drugs.
In the same handwritten Dispatch, De Lima also recalled the fervor of St. Scholastica student, Shibby, who, at the young age of 13, started the cardboard justice campaign on social media.
“I remember meeting Shibby last year. Right there, I admired her courage for taking a stand for what is right and just, at a young age,” she said.
De Lima said the youth’s version of the Kontra-SONA is a stark reminder for everyone to stand against the administration’s failures, including its increasing number of death in the bloody war on illegal drugs.
“May the voice of the youth, our children, wake up our countrymen to the truth. The deception is too much. The killings have to stop. It’s time to start the change that we all have truly aspired for,” she said.
De Lima, a known human rights defender, said she hopes that the youth would continue organizing other mass actions in the future, adding that she intends to participate in future events, when the opportunity permits.
De Lima is currently detained on trumped-up drug charges fabricated by the Duterte administration. She believes that these cases were invented by the government due to her strong opposition to its violent campaign against illegal drugs, and also President Duterte’s personal vendetta against her.