De Lima grateful to leaders demanding her release
Senator Leila de Lima on Friday expressed gratitude to those clamoring for her release from detention following the visit at the Custodial Center of three lawmakers from different Asian countries.
“Despite the relentless attacks and outright lies thrown against me by the evil Duterte regime to destroy my dignity and womanhood, I am grateful that many people have expressed and continued to vouch for my integrity,” De Lima said in a statement on Friday.
“I am very grateful for their very warm and gracious words of encouragement and support. I do not know them personally, and though it was our first time to meet, I easily felt from our discussion that we are kindred spirits—women who uphold human rights and value democratic principles,” she said.
On Thursday, three women representatives of liberal and democratic parties in Asia paid De Lima a visit at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center.
Council for Asian Liberals and Democrats (CALD) women’s caucus chair Jayanthi Balaguru, along with Emily Lau of Hong Kong and Maysing Huang Yang of Taiwan were urging President Duterte to release De Lima from detention.
De Lima said she had discussed with other Asian lawmakers the “very dubious moves” against Ombudsman Morales and Chief Justice Sereno, who are also facing possible removal from office.
She said the lawmakers also mentioned to her how “our democratic institutions, including the media, are now being threatened under the growing authoritarian rule of Duterte.”
Together with other highly reputable and international organizations, De Lima said CALD has also condemned the drug war that had claimed lives of over 12,000 individuals, “as well as the relentless political persecution against me by this vindictive President.”
“The growing clamor for accountability will ensure that justice will catch up with Duterte and his cohorts. Try as they might to cover up their abuses and vilify human rights defenders, but the world, the UN and the ICC are watching and cannot be fooled,” she added. JPV
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