Supporters of Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima from different sectors expressed their solidarity for her by asserting their support for her reelection bid for the 2022 national elections and renewing calls for her release.
De Lima’s supporters posted their messages of support online, while some flocked in front of the PNP Custodial Center, Camp Crame, when Vice President and Presidential aspirant Leni Robredo visited the Senator last Nov. 18.
“I’m here in support of Senator Leila [and] ang feeling ko kailangan nandito kami to support and welcome si VP na bibisita kay Senator Leila, kasi napakagandang time yun na ang isang babaeng lumalaban para sa kanyang bansa ay sinusuportahan ng isang babaeng nakakulong na lumaban din sa maling pag-gogobyerno ng bansang ito,” said Mae Lagunday, a member of People Power Volunteers for Reform (PPVR), in an interview.
On De Lima’s reelection bid, Lagunday added: “We support that very much. Actually, we look forward to that na talagang itutuloy ang laban. Kailangan din naming ipakalat na talagang mali at basura yung mga kasong ibinibigay sa kanya.”
Robredo paid a visit to De Lima to check on her condition, which De Lima described as “a most beautiful and encouraging moment.”
“It further fires up my resolve to fight against all odds and seek a fresh mandate as a Senator, my first term having been unjustly diminished by the vicious machinations of this vindictive President,” said De Lima.
On the same day of Robredo’s visit, supporters of the Senator, including Lagunday, gathered in front of Gate 1 of the PNP Custodial Center, Camp Crame and staged a flash mob by forming a straight line while holding blue umbrellas with pink letter each, forming the phrase “FREE LEILA NOW.”
Some notable personalities and group also posted on Twitter to express their support for De Lima.
Former Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said that De Lima “is at the top of my list of senatorial candidates,” adding that “she may have been maligned but in the end, the truth will out and she will be vindicated and will prevail. #LabanLeila!”
Former Presidential Communications Undersecretary Manolo L. Quezon III and The ASEAN Parliamentarians for Human Rights (APHR) posted a photo showing the supporters’ formation in front of Camp Crame.
Quezon captioned his post “#FreeLeilaNow” while the APHR reminded the public that “Senator De Lima, one of the most vocal critics of President Duterte’s anti-drugs policy, has been arbitrarily detained for almost five years.”
Team Leni Robredo, for its part, tweeted: “Mga #KakamPink at ka #TROPA, wag po nating kalimutang ipanalo si @SenLeiladeLima sa Senado! Kailangan ni @lenirobredo si Sen. Leila para maisulong ang kanyang mga adhikain para sa bayan! Kina Leni at Leila #TayoAngPanalo.”
Filipina Beauty Queen Aurora Pijuan, for her part, said that “We have your back, Senator Leila De Lima. Fight!”
Last July, De Lima confirmed that she would seek reelection in the 2022 national elections, saying that the political persecution she has been subjected to by the Duterte regime only strengthened her resolve to fight for her advocacies.
“Together with VP Leni and under her leadership, we will continue to represent the opposition in this country,” she said.
“We present the people an alternative to the criminal government that now governs us in the most perverted sense, an alternative that should have been a continuity administration of peace, stability, and progress in 2016,” she added. (30)