MANILA, Philippines – If going to jail is the price she has to pay for speaking the truth, Sen. Leila de Lima will be honored to be imprisoned under this administration.
Speaking at a dialogue for democracy and human rights at St. Scholastica’s College in Manila yesterday, De Lima said what she was going through now was not a personal battle but a fight for women and democracy.
“If the incidents of killing and violence in the society continue, what system, custom and culture can we expect the next generation to live with?” De Lima asked.
“If ‘Rodiness’ is the new normal, then what values are we teaching our youth and our children nowadays?” she said, taking a swipe at President Duterte, who has been criticized for his rudeness and foul language.
De Lima decried anew how she was being harassed by the administration and being blamed for every bad thing happening in the country just because she questioned the way the government was implementing its war against illegal drugs.
“The only thing lacking now is for them to blame the separation of (Hollywood star couple) Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie on me. Ang haba naman ng hair ko. They also said the dollar was already gaining (against the peso) but President Duterte was still cursing,” De Lima said.
Since initiating an inquiry into alleged extrajudicial and summary killings of drug suspects, De Lima has been ousted as chair of the committee on justice and human rights, faced two complaints before the ethics committee and an investigation by the Department of Justice and the House of Representatives on her alleged links to illegal drugs.
De Lima admitted she was hurting and putting on a brave front against all the attacks against her, but stressed she must persevere as a matter of principle.
“It is as if they are afraid that if they are unable to 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,” De Lima said.
She said that the administration wanted to make an example of her to warn those who dare challenge its policies that they would face the same ordeal.
“They even said I would land in prison. If it is the price of standing for the truth then I’m honored to be jailed. That’s why I challenged him (Duterte) already last week, arrest me now,” De Lima said.
“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. I know the truth is on my side,” she added.
De Lima: I’m honored to be jailed for truth’s sake
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