Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged Filipino activists across the country not to waver in their effort in resisting the looming dictatorship under Mr. Duterte’s leadership and in defying any attempt by him and his allies to weaken democratic values.
During these trying times when sinister officials use the government’s entire machinery and resources to undermine democracy, De Lima said our people are expected to speak out against any forms of injustices and irregularities in government.
“Reject authoritarianism and demagoguery! Uphold democracy and decency! Endure. Persevere. Prevail we shall!” she said in recent Dispatch from Crame No. 618 addressed to her supporters.
Since Mr. Duterte took the helm of the nation in 2016, the government has blatantly attacked its perceived enemies, including De Lima, her fellow opposition senators and Vice President Leni Robredo, among others, through lies and massive propaganda.
With the use of his entire political machinery, Mr. Duterte has also tried to control the three branches of the government, including the judiciary.
De Lima has also called to protect VP Leni and Filipinos’ sacrosanct votes as the Supreme Court (SC) sitting as the Presidential Electoral Tribunal (PET) has deferred anew its ruling on former Sen. Bongbong Marcos’ electoral protest against Robredo.
Marcos, who is a known ally of the Duterte family, filed an electoral protest against Robredo in 2016, blaming what he believed to be an alleged “massive cheating” behind his defeat by a margin of 263,473 votes.
Duterte has publicly and consistently expressed his fondness for Marcos and his father, late dictator and former President Ferdinand Marcos. The SC, meanwhile, is dominated by Arroyo and Duterte appointees.
De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, said she also trusts God to bless her country and its people.
“In God, we commend our woes. In God, we trust,” she said.
A staunch critic of the administration’s murderous war on drugs, De Lima has earned Mr. Duterte’s ire for initiating a Senate investigation into the unabated spate of extrajudicial killings in the country in July 2016, eventually leading to her unjust detention.
Known as a prisoner of conscience, De Lima has consistently maintained that no amount of lies by political manipulators and even paid trolls could erase her innocence from all trumped-up illegal drug charges filed against her by the government. (30)