As Filipino families celebrate Christmas Day today, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has called for strength, unity and compassion of Filipinos amidst all the challenges that the country is facing.
De Lima, who will spend her second Christmas in detention as a “prisoner of conscience,” said that more than any material present, she wishes to ease the pain and suffering of her countrymen who are fighting their respective battles.
“Ngayong Kapaskuhan, dalangin natin na maibsan ang mga dinadanas na hirap ng ating mga kababayan, malampasan ang mabibigat na hamon na ating pinapasan, at makamtan ang ating mga hangarin at dalangin,” she said in her Christmas Day message.
“Despite the darkness that besieges our nation, let us hope that better things will come. Let not the rottenness of Philippine politics dampen our spirit of resilience and collective will to overcome all adversities,” she added.
De Lima is celebrating Christmas Day along with family, some close friends and staff members by hearing a Thanksgiving Mass and sharing a simple lunch inside the Custodial Center of the Philippine National Police, in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
De Lima said her camp decided not to seek furlough to leave her detention and celebrate the holidays at her home because “it will be futile. I’m sure the DOJ would vehemently object.”
In the spirit of Christmas, De Lima said she hopes that her fellow government leaders can “embody the teachings of Jesus Christ who selflessly gave His life for the welfare of His flock” and serve for the common good.
“Let us use the mandate, trust and opportunity given to us by the people to ensure that the marginalized and vulnerable sectors of society are not overlooked and neglected, but are given the chance to become equal partners in nation building, upholding social justice and preserving our democracy and cherished freedoms,” she said.
“That we use these means not for selfish interests, but to truly serve. Let us listen to one another instead of constantly bickering for the sake of the people we swore to protect,” she added.
De Lima also urged leaders to stop turning a blind eye on social realities, including the problems that Filipinos encounter in their every day lives, and find longterm solution that will improve the plight of the citizenry.
“Humugot tayo ng lakas at inspirasyon sa mga kapwa natin na sa kabila ng dinadanas na pagsubok at pighati, ay nakukuha pa ring ngumiti at pinipiling gawin ang tama at makabubuti para sa kapakanan ng higit na nakararami,” she said.
“Maging inspirasyon sana natin ang bawat batang nagsisikap at nangangarap, na balang araw ay makakaahon sila sa hirap at makararanas ng maginhawang bukas ang kanilang pamilya,” she added.
De Lima wished that the entire nation can celebrate Christmas season with hopes in their hearts, believing that better days are coming if everyone learns to value and respect human life and human rights.