Press Release
November 28, 2021

De Lima vows to remain committed in fulfilling her mandate amid continuing persecution, thanks fellow women for support

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima vowed to remain committed in fulfilling her mandate of pursuing meaningful legislations and defending the rights of Filipinos, empowering communities, and seeking justice for all despite the challenges brought by her continuing persecution and unjust detention.

In her message for the online Townhall Meeting in observance of "Eighteen Days of Activism to End Violence Against Women" held last Nov. 25, De Lima said Mr. Duterte will never succeed in his attempt to break her spirit.

"Sa panahon ng pagsubok, lalo na ngayong nasa gitna tayo ng pandemya, walang puwang ang pagiging manhid at kawalan ng malasakit."

"Patuloy akong dumadama upang tukuyin at pakinggan ang mga hinaing at suliranin ng ating kapwa. Patuloy akong dumadamay tungo sa agarang pagkilos at pagbibigay-boses sa mga naisasantabi. Patuloy akong lumalaban para makamit ang hustisya para sa mga biktima, mga api at matagal nang pinagkaitan ng nararapat na serbisyo," she said.

The Townhall Meeting, entitled "Women for Leila: Dumadama, Dumadamay, Lumalaban," was attended by different women groups and volunteers, including Puwersa ni Leila, EveryWoman, Women 2022 and World March of Women via Zoom and Facebook Live.

De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime, said she is thankful for her fellow women rights defenders and freedom fighters for their unwavering support, which not only strengthens her resolve but also serves as constant reminder that she is not alone in her fight.

"The violence done against me in its various forms--psychological, emotional and physical--is without parallel in the entire history of women political leaders in our country," she said.

"But Duterte did not succeed and will never ever succeed in silencing me and breaking my spirit, especially with your commitment and hard work in endeavors such as today's Townhall Meeting," she added.

De Lima further shared: "I draw my strength from you, EveryWoman, Women 2022, World March of Women, #BabaeAko and many other like-minded groups that have remained steadfast in your support for justice and freedom in the almost five years that I have been detained."

"I am forever grateful for your unceasing efforts to take my case before the Filipino people to proclaim my innocence and expose the lies peddled by this vindictive regime and its sycophants and conspirators," she added.

During the event, fellow women rights defenders and supporters of De Lima, including Jean Enriquez, Executive Director of the Coalition against Trafficking in Women - Asia Pacific and National Coordinator of World March of Women - Pilipinas, and members of Center for Migrant Advocacy, expressed their support for the Senator.

"Kami po ay nakikiisa sa lahat ng grupong lumalaban sa karahasan sa kababaihan, lalo na sa mga survivors ng karahasan gaya ni Senator Leila de Lima. Aming kinokondena ang patuloy na detensyon ng women's rights defenders na sina Senator Leila at Ms. Sally Ujano, ang aking kapwa anti-trafficking advocate," said Enriquez.

"Senator Leila, kailangan ka namin sa Senado.... Kami ay kaisa ng mga survivors sa panawagang wakasan ang karahasan sa kababaihan, sa panawagang palayain kayo, si Sally Ujano, at lahat ng women human rights defenders. Saludo sa ating mga survivors," Enriquez added.

Members of the Center of Migrant Advocacy, for their part, said, "Ang pambabastos ng Presidente kay Senator Leila ay pambabastos sa atin. Kami po sa Center for Migrant Advocacy ay kasama ninyo sa pagdama, pagdamay at paglaban para wakasan ang lahat at anumang uri at porma ng pang-aabuso at karahasan laban sa mga kababaihan. Kasama na ang ating mga kababaihang OFWs -- na hanggang sa ngayon ay patuloy na nakikibaka para sa pagkilala, pagbibigay halaga at dignidad nila bilang mga women OFWs.

"Wakasan, Karahasan laban sa Kababaihan! Free Senator Leila de Lima, a prisoner of conscience under the Duterte regime."

News Latest News Feed