On her 62nd birthday, De Lima says she never stopped hoping it would be her last in jail
MANILA, Philippines — For the fourth time, Senator Leila de Lima is spending her birthday — her 62nd — in jail this Friday while hoping for “vindication and freedom.”
But for the feisty senator she said that she has no regrets being a critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, who she blamed for alleged trumped-up drug charges against her, for which she was detained.
“I feel sad that like last year, there will be no family, friends and staff, together in one cramped reception room to celebrate it with me. But as to regrets, none!” de Lima wrote from her detention at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center.
The senator has been detained since 2017 over drug charges, which she has repeatedly denied.
“What is there to regret when you are on the side of truth and justice?” De Lima went on.
“I said it on the day I was arrested and I will say it again: Karangalan ko po na ako’y makulong dahil sa mga ipinaglalaban ko po. And I wish to add to that line today: Karangalan kong maging tinig ng mga pinatatahimik, maging tambuli ng sambayanang gumigising, at maging taga-hawak ng sulo sa landas ng pag-asa at pagkakaisa para sa lahat.”
Since her arrest, De lima said she never stopped hoping that each birthday would be her last in detention.
“And I have never stopped hoping… Hoping for vindication and freedom, not only for me but for the rest of the Filipino people. Sana ay tuluyan na nating makamit ang buhay na malaya at may dignidad,” she said
Depite her detention, De Lima remains grateful to be part of “a greater and more meaningful struggle of a people fighting the good fight.”