As the country commemorates National Heroes Day today (Aug. 26), Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima called on Filipinos to be brave in resisting the prevailing culture of fear and impunity under the current regime.
In her National Heroes Day message, she paid tribute to known and unsung heroes who helped reclaim our sovereignty from foreign colonizers and to the individuals who stood up and defended our rights and liberty.
“Hindi po natin malilimutan ang mga bayani nating nagmarka sa ating kasaysayan, silang sa mga panahong nangingibabaw ang pananahimik o pagiging manhid dahil sa takot at karahasan, ay piniling tumindig at maging tinig para sa mga naaapi at naghahangad ng katarungan at kalayaan,” she said.
“And to truly honor their contributions that secured us a better future, it is our obligation to protect the freedom we inherited through their blood and sacrifice,” added De Lima, a champion of social justice and human rights.
At the same time, the lady Senator from Bicol denounced the government’s propensity to prosecute those who seek the truth and justice and those who fight for freedom, while rewarding villains and crooked individuals.
“Pinapalaya ang mga kriminal at ipinakukulong ang mga inosente at lumalaban sa kabuktutan ng pamahalaan,” said De Lima, referring to the release of several personalities involved in plunder and other high-profile cases under the current regime.
Just recently, the administration floated the possibility that former Calauan, Laguna Mayor Antonio Sanchez, who was sentenced to seven life sentences for rape and murder, and even the 13 NBP convicts-witnesses in the drug cases vs. De Lima, could be released allegedly due to good behavior.
If they were alive today, she said our heroes will be deeply disappointed with the deaths of children in the war on drugs and dengue epidemic, the creeping invasion of China and the loss of jobs for Filipinos to foreigners.
“Hindi po ito ang bukas na inasam ng ating mga bayani. Kaya naman patuloy kong dalangin at panawagan na magising na tayong muli at buhayin ang diwa at prinsipyong ipinaglaban nila para sa atin: ang malasakit sa kapwa Pilipino at panunumbalik ng dangal ng Pilipinas sa mata ng buong mundo,” she said.
The staunchest critic of the government’s bogus war on drugs, De Lima is unjustly detained for more than two and a half (2 ½) years now for trumped-up charges fabricated by the administration using convicted and perjured criminals as witnesses.
De Lima, who will turn 60 on Aug. 27, has repeatedly declared her innocence from the charges, believing the truth will eventually emerge amid the lies perpetuated by the Duterte regime in an effort to silence her.
National Heroes Day honors all the country’s heroes, including those whose names have been forever lost to history by virtue of Act No. 3827. It was originally held every last Sunday of August, but Republic Act No. 9492 moved to every fourth Monday of August.