De Lima releases 1000th Dispatch from Crame, slams Parlade for apparently red-tagging her

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More than three and a half years since she was unjustly detained over trumped-up drug charges, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has released her 1000th Dispatch from Crame where she reacted to an Opinion Piece falsely branding her as a coddler of communists last Dec. 18.

De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, has written said Dispatch after Lt. Gen. Antonio Parlade Jr. of the National Task Force to End Local Armed Conflict (NTF-ELCAC) wrote an Opinion Piece entitled “‘Tis no Leila’s dilemma that communists have infiltrated Congress” that was published by The Manila Times last Dec. 11.

“Gen. Parlade, you seem so worried about my recent statements condemning the red-tagging of members of the Makabayan bloc and the recent killings of NDF peace consultants (yes, I call them peace consultants),” De Lima said.

“Is it that bothersome for you to know that there are still people who believe in the right to life of every human being?” she asked.

It may be recalled that in her previous Dispatches, De Lima slammed Duterte’s red-tagging rampage against the Makabayan bloc legislators and cried foul over the killings of National Democratic Front of the Philippines (NDFP) peace consultants and couple Eugenia Magpantay and Agaton Topacio.

De Lima, a staunch human rights and social justice champion, maintained that no one can just be summarily executed and planted with evidence regardless if he is a communist or not, fugitive or not, criminal or not, rich or poor.

“I am and will always be for human rights and the rule of law. I will never stop condemning any and all forms of assault against human rights and human dignity, whether committed by the State or its non-state adversaries. Neither will I be silenced by an enabler like you (referring to Parlade),” she said.

In the Opinion Piece, Parlade also falsely claimed that De Lima is the cousin of Juliet Sison, the wife of Jose Maria Sison who is the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP).

De Lima said Parlade’s attempt to link her to Juliet “is already a tired, old, rehashed story” that was already used against her when she was still chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights.

“[Y]ou should have at least gotten your facts straight. Juliet de Lima Sison is not my cousin. She is a distant relative of my late father and I have never met her,” she said.

“I have never denied that we are related. And so what if we are? Does being the distant relative of the wife of Joma Sison make me a communist? Your logic is amazing,” she added.

By writing the Opinion Piece, De Lima suspects that Parlade is also red-tagging her. She asked, “you even wrote an entire column just to harp on my supposed relation to Joma Sison’s wife. Why don’t you go straight to the point? Are you red-tagging me, Gen.Parlade?”

Hindi ang mga itinuturing ninyong komunista ang magpapabagsak sa gobyerno, Gen. Parlade. Kayo mismo at ang ginagawa niyong kawalanghiyaan sa taumbayan,” De Lima concluded.

Despite her lack of access to communication devices since being unjustly detained on Feb. 24 2017, De Lima continued to speak out on injustices, human rights violations and other burning national issues through her handwritten statements, from her detention quarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

The lady Senator from Bicol vowed that she will never allow her incarceration to silence her and prevent her from fulfilling her duties and mandate given by the Filipino people.

Sa kabila ng panggigipit ng rehimeng Duterte, hindi ko hahayaang makulong din nila ang aking paninindigan sa katotohanan, katarungan at karapatang pantao. Patuloy akong magsasalita at lalaban hanggang sa makamit ko at ng ating bansa ang hustisya, ” De Lima said.

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