Instead of breaking her spirit, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima’s continued unjust detention has encouraged her to draft more legislative measures and resolutions that seek to secure a better future for her countrymen and protect them from abuses.
De Lima, who chairs the Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development, said she will never let her current situation get in the way of her duty to serve the Filipino public, including the more than 14 million people who voted her in office.
“Kaakibat ng paglaban ko para makamit ang kalayaan at katarungan mula sa panggigipit ng rehimeng Duterte ay ang patuloy kong pagganap sa aking tungkulin bilang hinalal na Senador ng milyon-milyong Pilipino,” she said.
“Naipakulong man nila ako gamit ang patong-patong na kasinungalingan at nalimitihan ang aking mga kilos, hindi ito dahilan para manahimik at magwalang-kibo na lang ako. Tuloy ang pagtataguyod ko ng mahahalagang batas at resolusyon para tugunan ang mahahalagang usapin sa lipunan,” she added.
Since assuming the Senate post in 2016, De Lima has authored and co-authored 142 bills and 146 resolutions that address the pressing issues in the society, such as poverty, sovereignty, human rights, violence, social justice, corruption, rural-urban migration, gender equality, social security and food security.
Of the total, 113 bills and 123 resolutions were drafted by the lady Senator from Bicol inside the Philippine National Police – Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City where she is unjustly detained since Feb. 24, 2017.
Among the notable measures she filed include the Human Rights Defenders Bill, the Refugees and Stateless Persons Protection Bill, the Unified Penitentiary and Prison Reform bills, the Magna Carta of the Poor, the National Commission for Senior Citizens Act, and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Act. The latter three were recently approved on third and final reading in the Senate.
“I can never stress this enough: We need to help those who have less in life to become self-sufficient by providing them with more and better opportunities that will help them have a sustained income, thereby allowing them to become the captain of their own ship and be in charge of their future,” De Lima said.
The former justice secretary, who is expected to mark her second year in unjust detention in less than a week from now, vowed that she will never disappoint the people who keep their faith on her despite ridiculous lies and accusations hurled against her.
“Expect that despite my struggles and political persecution, I will work harder in the coming days to prove that no tyrant can stop a persevering woman from getting the job done,” she said. A growing number of groups and human rights advocates have expressed their strong condemnation of De Lima’s illegal arrest and unjust detention over fabricated drug charges as they continued to press the Philippine government to set her free.