Fr. Albert “Paring Bert” Alejo, S.J. praised Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima for her unbroken spirit and selfless love of country notwithstanding the continued political persecution she is subjected to under the current Duterte regime.
During an episode of “Acronyms: Work from Prison” last June 22, Alejo, one of De Lima’s spiritual advisers and friend, said the country needs more leaders like her.
“D’yan nga ko bilib kay Senator Leila de Lima. Matibay. Halos linggo-linggo nagmi-Misa kami sa loob ng Camp Crame, at hanggang ngayon, magli-limang taon na ngayong Pebrero, matibay pa rin ‘yung kaniyang pananampalataya at pagmamahal sa bayan at siya iyong simbolo ng kung ano yung nangyayari sa ating bansa ngayon,” he said.
Addressing a netizen’s question if De Lima will run for a second legislative term next year, Alejo said “Dapat siyang tumakbo at dapat natin siyang ipanalo.”
Like De Lima, Alejo has been known as a vocal critic of the Duterte regime’s murderous war on drugs as he persistently called for an end to the unprecedented extrajudicial killings in the country that target the poor.
He regularly visits De Lima at the PNP Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City where she has been unjustly detained since Feb. 24, 2017, to officiate the Holy Mass for the Senator.
“Noong isang linggo nag-Misa ako sa kaniya, kaming dalawa lang. Kasi nga hindi pinapadalaw eh, at saka bago ka pumasok doon, kailangan nagpa-test ka muna for COVID-19, yung the day before,” he shared.
Alejo said he also admires De Lima’s work ethics as she has proven that no amount of persecution and demolition job will ever prevent her from fulfilling her mandate to the Filipinos as a duly-elected Senator of the Republic.
“Ang tibay talaga ng kalooban niya, pero siyempre pagod din yung tao. Biriun mo, wala siyang sariling computer kaya mapapansin mo yung lumilitaw sa Facebook niya [na statements], sulat kamay,” he said.
“Yung mga dispatches from prison, sulat kamay. Bakit? Eh wala nga siyang computer, wala siyang cellphone. Tapos ngayon pati kamag-anak niya hindi makasama sa amin sa Misa. Pero hindi mo matatawaran yung lalim at tibay ng kaniyang kalooban,” he added. (30)