Ahead of her second year of illegal arrest and unjust detention, Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed dismay over some people’s use of the common Filipino expression “weather-weather lang” to ease the pain she suffers from her present predicament.
In her recent Dispatch from Crame No. 449, De Lima said she hopes that people would spare her the false and naïve narrative that her unjust detention was brought about as a mere “consequence of the political climate.”
“What really irks me is when people – most of them well-meaning, but unintentionally infuriating – attempt to summarize my unjust detention and political persecution as a consequence of the political climate. “Weather-weather lang yan, Leila.”
“It infuriates and hurts me – this unfair oversimplification of what I am going through. It even implies that, when I was under better political climate, I did as my enemies now have done to me. I protest! Vehemently and indignantly,” she added.
De Lima is considered as the first prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime for her strong opposition to its murderous war on drugs that resulted in the death of thousands of suspected drug offenders.
International organizations and world leaders have repeatedly called for her immediate release from the trumped-up illegal drug charges filed against her by the Duterte administration using fabricated testimonies of publicly known convicted felons.
The lady Senator from Bicol lamented that people’s oversimplification of what she is going through wrongly implied that she targeted her enemies when she was under better political climate.
“I have persecuted no one for political reasons or personal vengeance. I have killed no one. I have stolen nothing. I have sold or traded no drugs. I have not conspired with anyone to engage in any criminal activity,” she stressed.
Even when the political winds blew in her favor, especially during her stint as Chair of the Commission on Human Rights and as Secretary of the Department of Justice, De Lima said she valued truth, justice and the rule of law more than anything.
“I suborned no false testimonies, I fabricated no evidence, I invented no false and baseless charges – as proved by the fact that the Office of the Ombudsman filed cases after its own investigation, and the decision of the Sandiganbayan in a recent case of acquittal was far from unanimous,” she said. De Lima maintained that her unjust detention is simply borne out of the personal vendetta against her of the powerful enemies she has made while performing her mandate without fear or favor in her years of public service.
“I am here, under detention, for no other reason than our efforts then at accountability led us up a trail that reached powerful and influential personalities: a former President, a Senate President, Senators, Congressmen, local government chief executives … and now even an incumbent President,” she said.
Despite her continued political persecution, De Lima continues to file meaningful legislation to improve the plight of her countrymen even as she receives awards and recognitions from different international bodies for her unwavering fight for justice, human rights and the rule of law.