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Nearing 5 years in detention, De Lima shows stronger resolve in fighting for justice and vindication

PHILIPPINES, February 20 - Press Release February 19, 2022

Nearing 5 years in detention, De Lima shows stronger resolve in fighting for justice and vindication

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima maintained that she has no regrets over her decision to speak out against injustice and call out the killings and other abuses running rampant under the present administration, even if it cost her freedom.

De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, said being incarcerated for siding with what is true and just is an honor.

"Despite all these days of injustice, of relentless political persecution, lies and false accusations against me, I keep my resolve and determination. As I have said before: It is an honor to be jailed for fighting for what is just and right," she said.

"Nagsisi ba ako? Hindi. Dapat bang nanahimik na lang ako? Hindi. Isinuko ko na lang ba dapat ang aking prinsipyo para napalaya agad ako? Lalong hindi! Wala po akong pinagsisisihan," she added.

Despite her continued political persecution, De Lima stressed that her zeal to continue fighting for justice, freedom and vindication has intensified and that sending her to jail has made her even stronger.

"May mga nagtatanong kung sa kabila ng lahat ng aking pinagdaanan, ay may lakas pa akong lumaban at muling tumakbo. Ang aking walang pag-aalinlangang sagot: Opo, hindi ako natinag ng pagkakulong, at lalo pa ngang naging matatag at masigasig sa paglaban.

"Ipinakulong man nila ako, hindi nila kailanman nakulong ang aking paninindigan at hinding hindi nila kailanman maikukulong ang katotohanan na ako ay inosente," she stated.

De Lima said she will always be grateful for the support and trust she is receiving from various individuals and organizations here and abroad, as she vowed that she will never fail them.

"Nagpapasalamat po ako sa lahat ng patuloy na nagdarasal, nagmamalasakit at nagtitiwala. Dahil sa aking pamilya, mga kaibigan, supporters at volunteers, sa ating Panginoon, at sa hangarin kong makamit ang hustisya para sa akin at sa ating bayan, nananatili akong nakatayo at matatag. Maraming, maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat," she said.

De Lima has consistently and firmly asserted her innocence in the trumped-up cases filed against her. Due to lack of evidence, she was acquitted in one of the three bogus charges. The two other cases are still pending.