Press Release
April 1, 2022

Dispatch from Crame No. 1242:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the release of Dr. Naty Castro


Nananaig din ang katotohanan, nagwawagi din ang Hustisya.

The junking by the Regional Trial Court of Bayugan, Agusan Del Sur (Branch 7) of the trumped-up charges of kidnapping against human rights and public health advocate Dr. Maria Natividad "Naty" Castro is precisely the spark of hope we need amidst the repression and oppression under the Duterte regime.

We could not have said it any better than the court did: her arrest was truly repugnant. To her right to liberty, to the rule of law, to everything that human rights defenders are fighting for.

Sa ilalim ng mapaniil na gobyerno, ang sino mang lumalaban para sa tama ay pilit iginagapos at binubusalan.

Despite their relentless attempts to silence human rights advocates and use the law to suppress our burning love for our cause and our country, this fight will carry on! Dr. Castro's story gives political prisoners like myself hope that there is still reason to believe in the system. Even when the strongholds of truth and justice have been incessantly attacked and shattered, the light still shines through the cracks.

Namnamin natin ang mga araw na nakamit natin ang hustisya.

There aren't many days like this, and so we must savor every second of it and use it to further fuel the fire in our hearts to continue fighting for the rule of law and justice.

For every victory like those of Dr. Castro's, we hear dozens more of the losses of human rights defenders and advocates whose families still have not had their closure because their bodies never resurfaced. It is a grim reminder that the road for human rights defenders is, and always has been, an uphill climb.

Maraming nakapanlulumong kwento ng mga lumalaban para sa katotohan na pinatahimik sa lagitik ng gatilyo.

These are the stories that we will continue to retell so that the perpetrators who operate brazenly with state-sponsored impunity will know that "the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice."

Laban lang! Tuloy ang laban ng bayan para sa Hustisya!

(Access the handwritten version, here:

News Latest News Feed