Filipinos overseas expressed their support for the Senate reelection bid of Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima who is running a campaign from her detention quarters in Custodial Center, Camp Crame where she is unjustly incarcerated for almost five years now.
In a Townhall Meeting (THM) entitled “The Truth About Leila” held last Feb. 12, human rights activists, freedom fighters and supporters of De Lima from the US, Canada, Saipan and Hong Kong gathered virtually in support of the Senator’s campaign.
Imelda “Mely” Nicolas, co-organizer of the Global Filipinos for Leni who is also assisting the US Filipinos for Good Governance (USFGG) in the implementation of its programs in the Philippines, said De Lima has the organization’s support since Day 1.
“USFGG has always supported Leila from the very start, when she ran for election as Senator in 2016, and now they are protesting the continued illegal and unjust detention of Senator Leila de Lima, and of course supporting her reelection in the 2022 elections,” Nicolas said.
“I like to express my admiration for Senator Leila starting with her being the Chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights where she started the investigation of what we now call DDS (Davao Death Squad), which she followed during her stint as Secretary of Justice, and, finally, as Senator of the Republic,” Nicolas added.
Echoing Nicolas’ support for De Lima, Loida Lewis, Chairperson of USFGG, said: “Kami ay sumusuporta kay Leila buhat pa noong siya ay Human Rights Commissioner, at tumakbo siya as Senator, we are supporting her.”
The Townhall meeting, dubbed “The Truth About Leila,” which allowed De Lima’s Chief Legislative Officer, Atty. Abel Maglanque, to discuss updates on her cases, was organized by Puwersa ni Leila, Pinoys Abroad, and US Filipinos for Good Governance.
Another supporter, Engr. Rad Abarrientos, for his part, expressed his condemnation of De Lima’s political persecution under the Duterte regime.
“I am so mad about this. If Leila, you could hear me, know that we will not let you to be there [longer than] 6 years… I’m so sad. I feel like crying right now, because if this is happening to Leila, it could happen to me, it could happen to you, it could happen to all of us,” he said.
In a recorded video message played during the event, De Lima said her story did not end the moment she was unjustly detained.
“Limitahan man nila ang aking kilos, hindi man nila ako payagang makalahok sa mga sesyon sa Senado, hindi ako mapapagod, di ko iindahin kung magkakalyo man ako kakasulat-kamay sa aking mga saloobin at pahayag laban sa mga baluktot na polisiya ng gobyerno. Patuloy man nila akong siraan at gawan ng fake news, tuloy ang aking laban, hindi lamang para sa aking paglaya, kundi para sa paglaya ng ating bansa.” she said.
“Paglaya mula sa karahasan at mga patayan. Paglaya mula sa katiwalian na lalong nagpapahirap sa taumbayan. Paglaya mula sa pang-aagaw sa ating teritoryo dahil sa pagsipsip sa dayuhan ng mismong nasa Malacañang. Paglaya mula sa inhustisya at kawalan ng pagpapahalaga sa buhay at karapatang pantao,” she added.