Sereno lauds De Lima’s unbroken spirit amid unjust detention


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Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno has conveyed her solidarity to Senator Leila M. de Lima whose unjust detention she believes has invaluably contributed to the promotion of justice and human rights across the world.

Sereno, who expressed admiration for De Lima’s unbroken spirit amid continued unjust detention, said she is certain that the Senator is on the right side of history.

“It is clear to everyone what we are fighting for. So your place in history isn’t something that you should be concerned about. It is actually already assured,” Sereno said.

“With all my best wishes to give you more energy and even greater inspiration for the fight that you continue to wage for freedom and democracy, not only in this country, but because of your sterling example, to the entire world,” Sereno added.

Last Sept. 12, Sereno dropped by the Senator’s office at the Senate in Pasay City where she handed over two books and a letter for the Senator who is illegally detained at the Philippine National Police- Custodial Center, Camp Crame, Quezon City.

De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, made her mark here and abroad for openly speaking out on social and political issues that challenge the crooked policies of Mr. Duterte.

She is among the few senators who dared to oppose and criticize the President’s all-out war on drugs, eventually leading to her illegal arrest and unjust detention based on trumped-up charges of illegal drug trading.

Sereno, who herself has been at the receiving end of political persecution by the vindictive Duterte regime, said the Filipino people have already grown tired of Mr. Duterte’s oft-repeated lies and rants against his critics.

The former Chief Justice likewise slammed Duterte for using government resources to taint the reputation of his critics, if not remove them from their post.

“Palagay ko sawa na ang mga tao sa ginagawa niya. Nakakapagod rin namang makita ang garapalan niyang panggigipit sa mga kritiko,” she said.

“Kaya ba ng mga Pilipino na masaksihan ang ganyang estilo nang paulit-ulit? Napakahabang panahon na ang ginugol ni Duterte at napakaraming resources na ang binubuhos niya [para makapang-gipit ng mga kritiko niya] habang ginagamit niya ang mga insitutions para lubusang makapanggipit. Sawa na ang mga tao,” she added.

It may be recalled that in an unlawful reinterpretation of the constitutional provisions on the protection of impeachable officials from ordinary removal proceedings, the High Court affirmed Sereno’s ouster through a quo warranto petition last June.

Sereno’s removal was obviously triggered by Duterte’s vocal disdain of her. Sereno is known to have voted against Duterte’s several moves, including the extension of martial law in Mindanao and allowing late dictator Ferdinand Marcos to be buried in a cemetery for national heroes. Sereno also dissented from the Supreme Court’s majority decision in De Lima’s petition questioning her arrest.

De Lima earlier lamented that the Constitution has indeed become “a mere scrap of paper, a garbage” under the leadership of an authoritarian like Duterte which is seen at how he politically persecuted the likes of her and Sereno, among others.

Office of Senator Leila de Lima
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Trunk Lines:
(632) 552-6601 to 70 local no. 5750

Direct Lines:
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