Press Release
September 30, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1155:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on Mayor Isko's statement about her detention


There has been a lot of talk over the interview of Mayor Isko Moreno where he said that he will let the courts decide my case in accordance with the rule of law, while he expects me to defend myself with all the guaranteed rights available to me under the Constitution. In short, should he make it in next year's presidential election, he won't direct the withdrawal of the cases against me, so says some news reports.

I do not begrudge Mayor Isko for his position on my fate as a persecuted prisoner of conscience of the Duterte regime. He is entitled to his views and posturing as much as anyone is, especially if he sincerely believes that the rule of law should always prevail, and that this includes intrinsic fairness; that the strong arm of the law should not be used to repress and jail dissenters.

However, I would also like to impress upon Mayor Isko the extraordinary nature of my situation, and of how the law was weaponized by the State under Duterte to fulfill his deep personal vendetta against me, silence my voice and put an end to any opposition to his violent drug war.

Under ordinary circumstances free from pressure, any judge would have thrown out my cases a long time ago. In the same manner, relieved of the Duterte factor, it is incumbent upon his successor and whoever might be his Secretary of Justice to review my cases and see them for what they are: bogus, fake and fabricated. All he or she has to do is ask the Bilibid and other witnesses themselves, without dangling any incentive, exerting any pressure, or hurling any threat on them as Duterte and Aguirre did, on the truth behind their decisions to falsely testify against me.

It won't take that much from anyone succeeding Duterte to realize the enormous injustice I have been undergoing the past four and a half years. I trust that given the burden of correcting this travesty of justice, any winning presidential candidate will see it as a moral imperative to reverse the tyranny that is my persecution. This goes as well for the murder of the poor and the innocents, and the raid on our nation's coffers by the present administration.

If we are truly to have the rule of law, justice should be used to cure the people of the malady Duterte has spread over our land like the COVID-19 pandemic. After all, that maybe what a healing President should be all about.

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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