Dialogue on Democracy and Human Rights
St. Scholastica’s College, Manila
October 6, 2016
Maraming maraming salamat sa mainit ninyong pagtanggap sa akin po ngayon. Iba talaga ang “energy” ng mga kabataan, or should I say, naggagandahang mga kabataan.
Siyempre, marami akong nakikilala ngayon sa audience. Hindi ko na lang babanggitin isa-isa baka may makalimutan po ako.
I would also like to use this opportunity to thank all the groups, institutions, and individuals who have expressed their support for our collective agenda of protecting human rights, upholding social justice, and promoting transparency and accountability in public service. When it seems as if the entire force of the administration is being used in an attempt to keep me from fulfilling my duties as a Senator, your encouragement is my inspiration to continue fighting the good fight, which is what this forum is about, standing up for the truth.
Sa totoo lang po, dahil sa dinaranas kong mga pang-aapi at pagkuyog sa akin ng mga katrabaho ko sa gobyerno, aaminin kong dumating ang punto na naramdaman kong nag-iisa ako, as I’ve mentioned earlier. Pero sa mga pagkakataon pong tulad nito na nakakasama ko kayo, napagtanto kong nagkamali po ako. Yun na nga, tulad po nung kahapon yung mga grupo ng kababaihan.
May nakapagsabi sa akin na simula noong nakaraang kampanya, napakarami nang mga trolls o fake accounts sa social media. Wagas silang mang-alipusta, magmura, o siraan ako at ang mga nakikiisa sa ating mabuting agenda. Pero ngayon po, I know and hear na dumarami na ang sumusuporta at dumedepensa sa ating mga ipinaglalaban. Mga totoong tao po ito, na may totoong prinsipyo, at totoong nagmamalasakit sa Pilipinas.
Kung dati, ang mga “hugot” lines ay: Buti pa ang pokemon hinahanap…ako hindi; o kaya naman ay nauso ang mga hashtag: #I woke up like this #Just Saying, at #OOTD o Outfit of the the Day, nakaabot sa akin na ngayon po ay trending na ang hashtag #EveryWoman #LabanLeila at #Di ka Nag-ii5a.
D5. That’s De Lima. Did you know that during the campaign, my signature line, 5, lima. Ganyan. “Lima-lima. Sama tayo ng lima para kay De Lima.” And that’s why it’s De5. I think it’s my staff who coined that.
Kaya naman talagang nakakataba po ng puso. #Blessed talaga ako.
Sa mga nangyayaring ito, madalas kong naitatanong: Ano bang kasalanan ko at bakit ko dinaranas ang lahat ng ito? Si Pangulong Duterte na po ang nagsabi noon na ginagawa ko lang naman ang trabaho ko. Kung siya man daw ang nasa posisyon ko, ganoon din ang kanyang gagawin. Pero ganun po talaga siya siguro, kung hindi man hihingi ng “sorry” sa pinagsasabi niya, eh pabago-bago naman po ang sinasabi niya kaya nagkakandarapa ang mga spokespersons niya kinabukasan.
My indignation goes far beyond the attacks on my character and my person. I know they are doing this to beat me down, discourage me from investigating the alarming state of events in our country. Everybody here, almost everyone of you raised their hands, is familiar with the issue of the rising cases of extrajudicial killings and summary executions in the country, and our ongoing Senate hearing today. It seems that my stand as a human rights advocate had cost me the ire of the President and his men.
Sa darating na linggo po ay ang ika-isandaang (100) araw na po sa puwesto ni Pangulong Duterte. Pero ngayon pa lang, umabot na sa 3,675 ang napatay. 1,381 dito ang napaslang sa operasyon ng pulis; habang nakakaalarmang 2,294 ang napatay na hindi tukoy ang salarin o maituturing na kagagawan daw ng mga vigilante.
Dear students, friends, this is mahigit 30 tao na patay kada araw! Kada araw, and counting. Karamihan po dito, kung hindi man lahat sila, ay pawang mahihirap, at pawang walang boses sa lipunan.
Our Catholic faith teaches us that we were created by the Lord in His image and in His likeness. It is His teaching that whatever you do unto others, you also do unto Him. This is why these killings and utter disregard for the rights and dignity of many, translate to committing sacrilege of His name. Human rights abuses are affronts upon His image and upon His likeness. The question is: Does someone who believes in hell and purgatory also believe in this?
Naalala ko rin po rito ang isang sulat sa akin ni Ginoong Archimedes Marquez. I also showed this yesterday at the forum at CHR. Hindi ko ho siya kakilala, pero nagpaabot siya sa akin ng mensahe ng pagsuporta. Sabi niya po:
“If the pusher lives in a Tondo shanty on a river of garbage, he dies violently in an encounter with the police. If the dealer conducts pot session in a condo unit, where illegal drugs worth millions are found, he gets to live, surrounded by the media. Big time drug lords have the hospital or the PNP White House to take refuge in. Small time pushers have only cemeteries to await them after their ignominious death.”
Very valid observation. And this is the reason why I am so scandalized by the statement of a fellow Senator that we are on our way to being a peaceful country like Singapore. Really? As far as I know, our country is still in a State of Lawless Violence as declared by no less than the President of the Philippines.
So again, which is which? I identified this in one of my privilege speeches: Are we in a State of Safety or are we in a State of Lawlessness? It’s oxymoron.
Because of the rising cases of extrajudicial killings and summary executions, the eyes of the world are upon us. The gains that we have achieved since the restoration of democracy in 1986 have slowly been dissipated and blown away by the wind of this administration’s so-called change. And they are of course pinning the blame on me. Sinisira ko raw po ang imahe ng ating bansa sa international community at sa international media.
Nababahala na raw ang mga namumuhunan, the investors,— kasalanan ni de Lima. Nababawasan ang turista— kagagawan ni de Lima. Humihina ang piso— dahil yan kay De Lima. Kulang na lang ay isisi nila kay De Lima ang paghihiwalay nina Brad Pitt at Angelina Jolie… Ang haba naman ng hair ko.
Sabi pa nila: nagmamahal na ang dolyar, pero si Presidente Duterte, nagmumura pa rin.
Ang tanong ko po: Ako ba ang pumapatay sa ating mga kababayan para mai-report ito sa international media? Ako ba ang ruma-riding-in-tandem na nagpapatumba sa mga maralitang drug suspects? Ako ba ang dumukot sa bakasyunistang OFW sa Cavite? Ako ba ang bumaril sa limang taong gulang na bata habang nagtatanghalian sa Pangasinan pati sa apat na taong gulang na bata sa Negros Oriental? Ako rin ba ang kada bukas ng bibig, kapag nagagalit, ay lagi na lang may minumura at inaaway ?
If they want the bad publicity in the international media to end, the killings must stop now!
At kung wala rin namang sasabihing maganda si Pangulong Duterte, mas mabuting itikom na lang niya ang bibig niya.
I am just doing my duty. I’m just trying to help. I want Filipinos to know the truth. Yet how did my colleagues in government react?
An ongoing inquiry at the House of Representatives investigating my alleged involvement in the proliferation of illegal drugs in the New Bilibid Prison. Two (2) ethics complaints in the Senate. My ouster as Chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights. An election protest; a case or cases filed by Bilibid inmates—some of the-called Bilibid 19; persecution by the DOJ—my former home, my former family, DOJ family; and the President’s incessant vicious attacks.
Mismong Pangulo natin, makailang beses na akong minura. Hindi pa nakuntento, sinabi pang magpakamatay na lang po ako.
[VIDEO] Transcript of Duterte’s statements against De Lima:
“If I were De Lima, ladies and gentlemen, I’ll hang myself.”
“Any other woman would have slashed her throat.”
He wants me to slash my throat? I have told him previously that if, indeed, I’m innocent of his accusations about me being involved in the drug trade, I’m willing, not just resign as Senator of the Republic of the Philippines, but also to be shot in his presence, because I know I’m innocent.
It is as if they are afraid that if they cannot destroy me and pin me down, with the whole government apparatus behind their massive demolition job, they will simply look like impotent fools before a defenseless woman whom they have dishonored and maligned, and continue to dishonor and malign me.
Tao lang po ako. Babae po ako. May pakiramdam po ako. Nasasaktan. May hangganan ang pagtitiis. Sabi ko nga, akala ko nung una, beterano na ako sa pagtatanggol sa naaapi at naabuso ang karapatan. Pero nung nangyari na po sa akin, at ako na mismo ang ginigipit at sinisira ang pagkatao, talagang nakakapanlumo.
I am aware that with everything being thrown at me, I sometimes get emotional and frustrated. And I also know that even this is being used against me, to make it appear that I am being hysterical or out of my mind.
Kapag si Presidente Duterte ang nagagalit, ang sinasabi: Desidido kasi siya bilang pangulo. He’s a strong leader, a strong role. Pero nung ako ang maging emosyonal, pinalabas nilang nawawala na ako sa katinuan. I’m on the verge na daw of a nervous breakdown! Do I look like I’m on the verge of a nervous breakdown? I’m certainly so enraged but I’m still very much in control of my mental faculties.
This is what happens to those who oppose the President. Ayaw niyang may kumokontra sa kanya kaya gusto nilang patahimikin gamit ang paninira at pag-iimbento ng mga istorya. His fanatics believe that killing is the best approach, and it is just to crush the spirit of those who do not agree or those who do not obey.
Pagkatapos ko, sino ang susunod na bubusalan ng bibig?
Ipakukulong po daw ako. If it is the price of standing up for the truth, then I am honored to be jailed. I already challenged him last week, “arrest me now!”
There are also deliberate attempts to mislead the public. They disseminate wrong information and fabricate lies to deceive all of us. They want to set an example out of me. They want an example of what would happen to those who would dare to oppose their policies. It is as if they are doing it on purpose to deflect the attention of our countrymen away from real social issues. There’s a lot of pressing social issues.
Bakit masyado namang pinagtutuunan ng pansin at resources ang giyera laban kay Leila de Lima?
Despite all these vicious attacks and malicious fabrications, I have to continue standing against these people because I do not want to give them the pleasure of seeing me beaten. As I said, I know the truth is on my side.The truth. And that is all that matters.
Hindi ko lang po ito laban. Laban ito ng napakaraming biktima ng karahasan, laban ito sa kawalan ng katarungan, laban ito ng kababaihan, laban ito para sa demokrasya.
I encourage each and every one of us to rise above our fear, speak up for what is right even if it is unpopular, and to stand up for our democratic ideals.
I encourage the Filipino people to fight these evil elements from a moral high ground, to fight for the rule of law and the reign of justice.
This is about our future, the future of our country, the future of our children.
Allow me to share with you an excerpt from an article of Candy Gourlay, a children’s book author. It is entitled: “What are we teaching our children during the war on drugs?”
I quote: “I’ve been watching recent developments in the Philippines with dismay. As a children’s [book] author, I wonder about the young readers of my books in my native country. What do they make of it all?
“When children see a President declare that people who suffer from drug addiction do not deserve to live, are they learning to disregard the humanity of people not like themselves?
“When they hear that more than thirty people are being shot dead every day, do they lose their ability to care about human life? Are they learning that murder is a better solution than the law to social ills?”
Bahagi lang ito ng kanyang isinulat, pero malinaw na siguro sa atin ang kanyang mensahe. Kung magpapatuloy ang mga insidente ng patayan at karahasan sa lipunan, anong aasahan nating magiging kalakaran, kaugalian at kulturang gagalawan ng susunod na henerasyon?
Actually, today, we are living under a new environment thinking that killing is good. Killing without due process. If rudeness, or, should I say, Rody-ness, is the new “normal”, then what values and what ideals are we teaching our youth and our children nowadays?
To our youth, then and now, you have always had major roles in pursuing what is right and just in our country. You certainly have a voice in society—even multiple voices, through Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter and everything else you use today.
Several students have already taken the initiative to speak against extrajudicial killings through the cardboard justice campaign and similar endeavors. And I know for a fact that there’s somebody in your community, a student, a Scholastican—I know and I commend her for her bravery to stand up for what she believes is right and just. I don’t know if you know her. But I’d rather not identify her. She might be a victim of bullying by the thousands of trolls. I think she’s here. I know she’s here.
As early as July 19, she posted a photo of her on Facebook, wearing a cardboard with this message: “Lahat tayo posibleng drug pusher.”
And her message is clear: “Extrajudicial killing is never the right way to go.”
A young student. Even at a young age, she reminds us of the real problem our nation is facing. According to her: “Killing people does not stop drugs, what stops drugs is eliminating poverty, not people who are victimized by it. What we need is free rehabilitation.” And where are the rehabilitation centers now?
I laud her for this. I also laud the Missionary Benedectine Sisters of the Manila Priory for the courage to speak up and urge the administration to put an end to these killings.
These efforts have contributed to waking up the nation to express its collective concerns about the spate of vigilante killings and summary executions in the wake of the so-called war against illegal drugs. In as much as I laud your efforts now, I still urge you to continue fighting the good fight for our people for the sake not just of your generation, but also of the next generations to come.
Ang hamon po sa bawat isa sa atin at sa iba’t ibang sektor: manindigan para sa tama at makatwiran. Hindi pa huli ang lahat para tayo ay sama-samang lumaban para sa dignidad, karapatang pantao, pangingibabaw ng batas, at pangingibabaw ng demokrasya.
This is a call to action. I fervently urge everyone – all concerned individuals, groups and institutions – to stand up for the truth, to speak out against human rights abuses, and to fight for the democracy in our country.
It may be worthy at this point to share with you a few lines from the poem “Enemy of the Sun” by Sameeh Al-Qassem, which go:
“You may take the last strip of my land,
Feed my youth to the prison cells.
You may plunder my heritage.
You may burn my books, my poems.
Or feed my flesh to the dogs.
You may spread a web of terror
On the roofs of my village
O enemy of the sun
I shall not compromise
And to the last pulse in my veins
I shall resist.”
At sa akin naman ay makakaasa po kayo: Ngayon hanggang sa susunod pang mga taon, mananatili akong tapat sa aking tungkulin. Ikulong man nila ako o hindi. Gagawin ko ito hindi lang bilang Senador, kundi pati na rin bilang isang ina, at Pilipinong nagmamalasakit sa kapwa Pilipino, at nagmamahal sa ating bayan. Sa abot ng ating makakaya, kabit-bisig nating itaguyod ang lipunang pinapangarap natin para sa ating mga anak at pamilya.
Join me in this fight.
Maraming maraming salamat po.