Dispatch from Crame No. 176: Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on Duterte’s grand conspiracy of lies against his critics


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Though I have developed a semblance of a daily routine while living under detention for 225 days now, my reflections sometimes still make a turn towards feelings of isolation. Not just in the physical sense, but also in the moral sense, thinking that many people don’t know what it’s like to be so unjustly, publicly and unrestrainedly oppressed and vilified by the most powerful man in the country. And no one ever should, really.

No one should ever be the subject of this grand conspiracy of lies.

No one should have to live under a continuous state of persecution for taking a stand against summary killings, human rights abuses and tyranny. No one should have to suffer being falsely charged (with the absurd allegation of being the biggest “Drug Queen” in the country, no less!), her good name maligned, and her innocence put into question based on the fabricated stories told by supposed “witnesses.”

At times, I wonder if I’ll ever find vindication.

Then comes the revelations of Senator Sonny Trillanes, through his privilege speech, exposing the acts of private operators who orchestrated (and are still orchestrating) the demolition job against him, including the peddling of falsified bank accounts. It is as if a light was suddenly switched on, giving me hope for vindication.

It appears that he had independently corroborated a modus operandi that I myself was warned about when all this was just starting. Credible sources warned me that some operators—hacks and shady characters—have been hired and paid by very powerful and extremely well-funded patrons to destroy me, to do the bidding of Duterte, as then newly installed President.

With the backing of Duterte’s henchmen, chiefly, Aguirre, Calida and Acosta, these operators embarked on a massive fabrication of evidence by collecting so-called “witnesses”, who are no more than persons, mostly convicted felons, whom they have coerced, pressured, threatened, blackmailed, paid or otherwise unduly influenced into giving perjured testimonies against me.

I wish I had the tenacity, resourcefulness and connections (particularly within the security sector) of Senator Trillanes. For the longest time, the challenge has been to expose this grand conspiracy of lies. Now, gradually, bits and pieces of information are being verified and pieced together, and the truth is emerging: I am not alone. I am not the only one targeted by this grand conspiracy of liars.

And I am not the only victim in this scenario. In truth, we are all the victims here. Because all of this is meant to silence dissent and, ultimately, give free reign for this administration to do whatever it wants with impunity.

The truth is out there. It just needs to be recognized before it’s too late.

I just have to pray for that day of reckoning to come.###

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