Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima joined the nation in commemorating the 100th Birth Anniversary of the late Jose “Ka Pepe” Diokno today (Feb. 26), saying that his courage in defending human rights and democracy continues to live in people’s hearts.
In a video message, De Lima said that the flame of hope and courage ignited by democracy champions and human rights defenders like Diokno will keep on burning.
“Kahanga-hanga po ang kanyang kabayanihan at ipinamalas na tapang sa kabila ng pagkapiit at panggigipit. Ginamit niya ang pambihirang talino at galing – hindi sa pansariling interes – kundi sa pagtatanggol sa karapatang pantao at demokrasya,” she said.
“Gawin nating modelo ng pagkabayani si Ka Pepe. Hindi niya piniling manahimik habang marami ang inaapi at nagdurusa. Tumindig siya’t nagsalita para sa kalayaan at demokrasya,” she added.
Diokno is regarded as the “Father of Human Rights Advocacy” in the country for spending his life protecting the inviolable rights of his fellow human beings during the darkest hours in Philippine history.
Diokno, who served as a Senator and Justice Secretary, was very vocal against Ferdinand Marcos’ martial law regime.
De Lima, former Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights, said it is important to be reminded of Diokno’s courage considering that many Filipinos are still experiencing the same sufferings did during the Marcos regime.
“Isa si Ka Pepe sa mga ipinakulong noong Martial Law dahil sa paglaban sa diktaduryang Marcos,” De Lima said.
“Katulad sa pagpapahirap na dinaanan ni Ka Pepe, marami pa rin ngayon ang nakakulong, kung hindi man pinaslang, dahil sa pakikipaglaban para sa karapatang pantao, kalayaan, at demokrasya. Kasama na ako sa mga ipinakulong ng rehimeng Duterte gamit ang mga asunto na pawang mga kasinungalingan lamang,” she added.
De Lima, the staunchest critic of Duterte’s inhumane policies, recently marked her 5th year in unjust detention last Feb. 24. She has consistently and firmly asserted her innocence in the trumped-up charges filed against her. Due to lack of evidence, she was acquitted in one of these three cases on February 17, 2021. The two other cases are still pending. (30)
Watch Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s Video Message on the 100th Birth Anniversary of Jose “Ka Pepe” Diokno, here: https://www.facebook.com/leiladelimaofficial/videos/510931447047696