In observance of Father’s Day today (June 16), Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has paid tribute to all dads here and abroad who unfailingly work hard to provide their children with a better future and ensure that they become productive members of society.
De Lima, however, lamented how the supposed “father” of the entire nation failed to set a good example to the Filipino people by promoting violence and abuses and feeding them with lies every day.
“Ang paghanga ko sa aking daddy, ang siya ring paghanga ko sa mga tatay at maging sa lahat ng tumatayong ama sa bawat pamilya, na walang pagod na nagsasakripisyo at gumagabay sa kanilang anak para magkaroon ng maginhawang buhay, lumaking may dignidad, malasakit at paggalang sa karapatan ng kapwa,” she said.
“Kaakibat ng okasyong ito para sa mga ulirang ama, atin ding kinokondena ang mga pinuno, na naturingang ama ng mamamayan, na pasimuno pa ng kasinungalingan, karahasan at araw-araw na patayan,” she added.
Though Sen. De Lima spends the Father’s Day without his dad, she remembered the late Commission on Elections Commissioner Vicente de Lima who taught her not only to be strong but to always fight on the side of truth.
“‘Always fight for what you believe is right and just.’ This is one of the lessons that my late father, former Commission on Elections Commissioner Vicente de Lima, taught me and my siblings. His discipline, dedication and courage served as my inspiration in pursuing the law profession and a career in public service,” Sen. De Lima recalled.
The former justice secretary said she continues to draw strength from her father amid her ordeal because he trained her to be strong in the face of great challenges.
“This is why during special occassions like Father’s Day, especially in my current situation, I tend to be engulfed by deep sorrow as I remember our fondest memories. But, during times of hardship, I also remember how my father mentored me to become a strong individual, one who never falters even in the face of greatest adversity,” she said.
In fact, Sen. De Lima shared that it is for the honor of her father, and the good name of their family, that she chooses to be defiant while relentlessly fighting for her innocence, justice and human rights.
“Though he may no longer be with us, I know that he still guides and protects me and our family. I am sure he is up there in heaven rooting for me, as he had always done,” said De Lima. A victim of political persecution under the vengeful Duterte regime, De Lima remains detained over the trumped-up charges filed against her by the government that were all based primarily on perjured testimonies of convicted criminals and manufactured evidence.