De Lima’s dilemma: How to tell her mom she’s in jail
All Sen. Leila de Lima’s mother knows is that she is just on an extended official trip abroad.
The detained lawmaker bared on Tuesday her family’s dilemma, saying her siblings have kept news of her incarceration from her 84-year-old mother Norma, lest it would cause her pain.
“My 84-year-old mother has no inkling as to my current situation. What my brothers and sister have told her is that I’m abroad on an official business,” De Lima wrote in her latest dispatch from Camp Crame, where she has been held for nearly three weeks now.
“[I] keep debating with myself—shall we tell her or not that her daughter is in prison,” De Lima wrote.
She wrote the note on March 13 at 8:55 p.m.
The senator was arrested on Feb. 24 for her alleged involvement in the drug trade, largely based on testimonies of high-profile convicts who claimed she had profited from the illicit trade at the national penitentiary.
De Lima has repeatedly denied the allegations, saying the charges were part of President Duterte’s efforts to exact revenge against her for her fierce criticism of his policies, particularly his deadly war on drugs.
She said her siblings still could not tell their mother the truth, however, as it would be difficult for her to bear: “This is a real dilemma for our family.”
“I’m sure that she has started to wonder why my foreign trip is taking so long, given my preference for brevity of such trips. My siblings can no longer justify to her my prolonged absence,” De Lima said.
“But knowing the truth about what was done to me by this vengeful President and his ilk will surely cause her misery and grief—an unnecessary pain,” she said.
De Lima has been issuing handwritten notes from her cell at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame, staying true to her vow that “I cannot be silenced.”
In earlier notes, she had written about her father, former Elections Commissioner Vicente de Lima; her special son Israel, 33, and 10-year-old Brandon, her grandchild by her younger son Vincent.