De Lima: 142 bills, 146 resolutions filed despite 726 days in detention
MANILA, Philippines – Sen. Leila de Lima, despite being in detention for the last 726 days, on Tuesday shared she was still able to file 142 bills and 146 resolutions on key issues such as poverty, sovereignty, human rights, violence, social justice, corruption, rural-urban migration, gender equality, social security, and food security.
“Naipakulong man nila ako gamit ang patong-patong na kasinungalingan at nalimitihan ang aking mga kilos, hindi ito dahilan para manahimik at magwalang-kibo na lang ako. Tuloy ang pagtataguyod ko ng mahahalagang batas at resolusyon para tugunan ang mahahalagang usapin sa lipunan,” De Lima, who chairs the Senate committee on social justice, welfare and rural development, said in a dispatch from her detention cell at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City.
(They have sent me to jail through lies and limited my movement, but it was not reason enough for me to just be silent. I still filled relevant bills and resolutions to address key issues of society.)
Since earning a Senate seat in 2016, De Lima said she has authored and co-authored 142 bills and 146 resolutions.
113 bills and 123 resolutions were drafted by the senator from Bicol inside the PNP Custodial Center where she has been detained since Feb. 24, 2017, due to drug-related charges which she has repeatedly claimed as “politically motivated” and “fabricated.”
Among the measures she filed include the Human Rights Defenders Bill, the Refugees and Stateless Persons Protection Bill, the Unified Penitentiary and Prison Reform bills, the Magna Carta of the Poor, the National Commission for Senior Citizens Act, and the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) Act.
The last three bills were recently approved on third and final reading in the Senate.
The former justice secretary, who will mark her second year in “unjust detention” less than a week from now, vowed not to “disappoint the people who keep their faith on her despite ridiculous lies and accusations hurled against her.”
“Expect that despite my struggles and political persecution, I will work harder in the coming days to prove that no tyrant can stop a persevering woman from getting the job done,” De Lima said.
De Lima’s statement came in the wake of the former Senator Jinggoy Estrada’s claim that an actor-politician like him has filed more bills than the “yellow” senators – referring to members of the once ruling Liberal Party.
“Sabi nila, bakit raw boboto ng artista? Bakit hindi? Nakita naman niyo, ang inyong lingkod, nakapag-file ng anim na daang panukalang batas ” Estrada said at the Hugpong ng Pagbabago’s (HNP) campaign sortie in Vigan City on Monday.
(They were asking why would they vote for an actor? Why not? You’ve seen for yourself, I’ve filed 600 bills),
The plunder-accused senator added: “Oh ngayon tignan natin ‘yung track record nung ibang mayayabang na dilaw dyan. Ilang batas ang pinasa nila? Wala pa yatang singkwenta. Tapos sasabihin nila walang karapatan ang mga artista na manilbihan bilang isang Senador ng ating bansa,” he added.
(Let’s see the track record of the arrogant ‘yellows.’ How many bills have they passed? Maybe not even 50. Then they’ll say that actors don’t have any right to become a senator of this country.)
Estrada also claimed innocence over the multi-billion peso Priority Development Assistance Fund scam in 2014, saying he was a victim of the Aquino administration’s “selective justice.”
Estrada and former Senators Bong Revilla Jr. and Juan Ponce Enrile, who were likewise implicated in the fund scam, are seeking reelection in the May polls.
In June 2014, the Office of the Ombudsman indicted them for plunder and multiple counts of graft in connection with the multi-billion pesos PDAF or pork barrel scam after they allegedly siphoned their PDAF to alleged scam mastermind Janet Lim Napoles’ bogus non-government organizations.
Estrada and Enrile are currently out on bail while Revilla was recently acquitted by the Sandiganbayan. / gsg