De Lima urges youth to step up fight for human rights in 2019


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Aware of the slew of challenges that the country may face in 2019 under the Duterte regime, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has urged her countrymen, especially the youth, to lead the nation to tangible changes by fighting the lies of the government and standing up for human rights.

The lady Senator from Bicol said she believes that the nation is expected to face the same challenges in 2019 – including a crisis of conscience and morality – which requires the youth to “find the courage, will, and strength to change this course.”

“I call on our fellow Filipinos, especially the youth, to lead our nation to tangible changes this year–to put an end to violence and impunity through our unified call for justice, and our common commitment to protect human rights and value human lives.

“To stop the blatant lies that poison and corrupt the moral fiber of our people by speaking truth to power. To fight tyranny by upholding the rule of law and standing up for our democratic principles,” she said.

Note that while Mr. Duterte proclaims himself as pro-poor, he continues to promote extrajudicial killings as “crime prevention” which resulted to the deaths of more Filipinos, mostly coming from poor families, in 2018.

Unfortunately, it was only among his many undemocratic policies that worsened the plight of Filipino families and stole away their chances to live a better life in the future.

De Lima recalled: “Hanggang ngayon, may mga bagong biktima ng pamamaslang at kawalang katarungan dahil sa karahasan at panggigipit ng pamahalaan. Marami nating kababayan ang lalong kinapos at naghikahos dahil sa mas mataas na buwis at nakakalulang presyo ng bilihin.”

To effect change and build a just and humane society amid the challenges in 2019, De Lima said Filipinos should value their right to suffrage and elect worthy leaders in the 2019 midterm elections.

For her, 2019 is a “crucial year” and an opportunity to improve how things are done in the government considering that the people are to elect new leaders in the upcoming elections.

“In a few months, we will decide who will be leading us for another term. Let us scrutinize leaders on how they fulfill their duties, how they influence our youth, and choose those who deserve our trust,” she said.

“Sa ating mga kababayan, lalo na sa ating mga kabataan: Higit kanino man, malaking papel ang gagampanan ninyo para mabago ang landas na tinatahak ng ating bansa ngayon. Patuloy ko pong dalangin ang ating tuluyang pagkamulat at maigting na pagbubuklod para maitaguyod ang isang masagana at makatarungang bansa…” she added.

For the second time, De Lima, who is considered a “Prisoner of Conscience,” will be welcoming a new year in detention along with family, some close friends and staff members by hearing a Mass and sharing a simple dinner inside the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police, in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
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