De Lima never wavers to fulfill her duty despite unjust detention – brother

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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima’s youngest brother, Vicente “Vicboy” de Lima II, has commended his sister’s resolve in fulfilling her duty to serve the Filipino public amid her continued unjust detention which is made more challenging due to restrictions brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

            In a DZRH interview with Aksyon Kabataan’s Jean Enriquez and Kelly Denn Tomas on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day last Dec. 10, De Lima’s youngest brother also bared his Christmas wish for the Senator, which include hopes for her continued safety and freedom.

            “Siya po ay patuloy na nakikipaglaban sa mga adbokasiya nya, katulad po ng sa karapatang pantao. Kahit po sya nakakulong, patuloy niyang ginagawa ang kanyang trabaho bilang Senador ng Republika ng Pilipinas na magbigay ng kanyang mga mungkahi, magbigay ng Senate bills that support human rights,” he added.

            “Kahit po nasa pandemya na, tuloy pa rin ang extrajudicial killings, kaya tuloy pa rin ang pagsusulat, pagtatrabaho ni Sen. Leila M. de Lima para matulungan yung mga biktima ng mga pang-aabuso ng karapatang pantao,” he added.

            Among the bills that De Lima drafted while inside detention, Vicboy recalled, includes Senate Bill No. 1842 seeking to define and criminalize extrajudicial killings and related acts and guarantee state obligations to effectively investigate and properly document EJKs.

            Vicboy also cited his sister’s Senate Bill 179 seeking to promote and protect the rights of human rights defenders who bravely stand up against the excesses of the Duterte regime.

            “Ilan lang po yan sa mga Senate Bills na patuloy nyang isinusumite para maging batas,” said Vicboy.

            Since assuming the Senate post in 2016, De Lima has authored and co-authored 258 bills and 274 resolutions that address the pressing issues in the society, such as poverty, sovereignty, human rights, violence, social justice, among others. Of the total, 224 bills and 251 resolutions were filed by De Lima while under detention.

            Vicboy maintained that his sister should be freed immediately to allow her to work better towards improving the plight of the Filipino people who continue to suffer under the failed governance of the current regime.

            “Well, ang wish po namin sa aming kapatid ay sana patuloy siyang maging malusog. [W]e continue to wish for her safety there while unjustly detained. And of course, we pray very much na sana makalaya na siya, makalabas na siya,” he said.

            “Sana nga po ay siya’y makalabas na sa kulungan para mas lalo niyang masubaybayan at lalo siyang makapagtrabaho para maging batas [ang mga isinusulong niyang panukala]. [H]abang nakakulong siya, meron pong limitations pero kung makalabas po siya, nandun po siya sa Senado, maririnig po ang pakikipaglaban niya para sa human rights at para sa demokrasya at para sa press freedom,” he added.

            On Christmas Day, Vicboy shared that he is still unsure if how many family members will be allowed to visit De Lima considering that there are more restrictions because of COVID-19.

            “Dati po, pag Pasko po at Holy Week, maraming kamag-anak ang nakakapunta sa kanya. Pero ngayon pong pandemya, ay hindi po namin alam kung ilang bisita ang papayagan,” he said.

            “Medyo magiging malungkot po ang Pasko ng aming kapatid, dahil konti lang po ang makakapunta sa kanya, makakabisita. Yan po ang isa sa mga sakripisyong nangyayari sa kanya habang patuloy siyang ginigipit ng mga kaaway nya sa rehimen na ito,” he added.

            This is the fourth time that Sen. De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, would be spending Christmas in detention since she surrendered herself to arresting authorities last Feb. 24, 2017. (30)

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