For Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima, one of the biggest challenges of being a political prisoner under the Duterte regime is the limited time she could spend with her loved ones, if not to see some of them at all while in detention.
That is why Sen. De Lima said she remains to be thankful that this year allowed her to spend quality memorable time with her mother, Norma Magistrado De Lima, and son, Vincent Joshua Bohol, albeit briefly, in separate occasions.
Son’s achievement, mother’s pride
Sen. De Lima has been allowed to attend the thanksgiving dinner of her youngest son, Vincent Joshua Bohol, on June 16, for passing the 2018 Bar exams.
The two (2)-hour furlough granted by the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branches 205 and 256 to De Lima to attend her son’s thanksgiving was, for her, “a blessing she did not expect to receive.”
Vincent Joshua, who graduated from San Beda College of Law – Alabang, was among the 1,800 passers of the 2018 Bar examinations.
Heartwarming reunion with ailing mom
Sen. De Lima said she considers as “a most memorable day” for her the day when the courts handling her trumped-up drug cases granted her furlough to visit her ailing mother in Iriga City last Aug. 15.
“For more than two years, that was the first time I set foot on our family home where I grow up and had my fondest memories, and I was at mommy’s bedside for eight hours. Seeing everybody there, relatives, family, friends, neighbors, — was an incredible moment,” De Lima recalled.
It may be recalled that the Senator secured a 48-hour furlough from the Muntinlupa Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branches 205 and 256 to visit the De Lima matriarch who was then on critical health condition.
Since her detention on February 2017, De Lima has only seen her mother twice. The first was on Dec. 23, 2018 when her mother was brought to her place of detention at the Philippine National Police – Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
The second meeting happened when De Lima was granted a furlough by the courts to attend the thanksgiving dinner for Vincent Joshua last June 16.
Continued fight through ‘True Leila Project’
A fact-checking website called the “True Leila Project” was launched on November 16 in response to the relentless spread of false content and misleading information against De Lima online.
The website, trueleilaproject.com, is a one-stop destination for the Filipino populace, including journalists and researchers, to confirm the veracity of the malicious information and false narratives peddled against her by malevolent forces.
De Lima said the launch of the website is personal for her because “it marked the start of my renewed fight against fake news, which has been consistently used by political manipulators for the past years to try to ruin my reputation.” (30)