On her fourth Christmas in unjust detention, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima said she continues to wish for her freedom and vindication from all the trumped-up drug charges filed against her.
Aside from her personal wish this Yuletide Season, De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, said she also wishes for a free access to COVID-19 vaccines for all Filipinos and an end to the prevailing culture of violence and impunity in the country.
“I constantly wish for my freedom. This year, after finding the evidence weak and the testimonies against me without credibility as they are mainly perjured, I applied for bail in each of the three (3) cases I’m facing since I was unjustly detained on 24 February 2017. It is my fervent prayer for my ailing mother to still be with us when I finally celebrate my vindication,” she shared.
“For our country, I wish that every Filipino will be given access to the COVID-19 vaccine so that all can move on from this pandemic without worrying for their health and safety.
“Palagi ko ring ipinagdarasal na matigil na ang mga karahasan at pagpatay. Sa pag-usad ng ICC investigation sa ating bansa, sana ay makamit na natin ang hustisya at pananagutan mula sa mapaniil na rehimen ni Duterte,” she added.
Despite the difficulties, the lady Senator from Bicol said that Christmas remains to be the season of hope, and the time to give back and be grateful.
“Let’s give it to our COVID-19 frontliners, typhoon and disaster responders, and the individuals and groups who reach out to those who need help the most during times of disaster out of generosity and a pure desire to help. Their sacrifices made our sufferings bearable and humane. They gifted us with their love, and some of them with their lives, through their selfless acts of heroism. Let’s honor them and show them how grateful we are,” she said.
“Let’s also appreciate public officials who, despite the inhospitable if not hostile environment created by the present administration, still manage to show sincerity of service towards their constituents and the poor. They who keep looking for ways to unite us rather than divide us and who bring out the best in our people,” De Lima added.
This year, De Lima will celebrate Christmas Day under a more restricted environment, with only a few members of her immediate family expected to visit her at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, given the strict policies as to visiting privileges, the restrictions brought about by the current pandemic.
Admitting that she longs for good company, De Lima shared that the current situation makes her look forward to the day when she will be reunited with family, friends and supporters on the outside.
Citing God’s promise in Psalm 37:6, De Lima said: “He will make your righteous reward shine like the dawn, your vindication like the noonday sun.”
Last year, De Lima celebrated Christmas Day through a simple gathering with her family members, relatives and close friends, who also attended a Mass with her inside the Custodial Center. (30)