Press Release
May 13, 2017

Sen. Leila M. de Lima's reflections for Mother's Day
Dispatch from Crame No. 83

5 /12 / 17

I wish to share these reflections for MOTHER's DAY (May 14):

The events of the last ten (10) months have given a whole dimension to my understanding of the burdens of motherhood.

Every mother knows the challenges of keeping her children safe from harm, of raising them well, of giving them a good education, of being them for them during the best and the worst days of their lives and everything in between. The rewards of motherhood are built in to these very challenges: you experience both the joy and the pain.

But not all mothers know the side of the burden that involves unabated and unmitigated grief--and that is, of course, for the better.

From my own experience, I have had to suffer knowing that--because of the enemies and choices I have made as a public servant who has stayed true to my sworn duty to uphold human rights and the Rule of Law--my children and my grandchildren are suffering along with me. These were my personal and professional choices, borne out of my sense of morality and civic duty, yet my children and grandchildren are also paying for the consequences of my choices. Knowing that is very painful to me. No mother wants to bring even the slightest discomfort to their children--much less the sufferings as grave as they have had to go through lately.

From the perspective of my mother--or what I can assume as going through her mind as the mother of a daughter who has not visited or seen her for several months now--there is the grief of not completely understanding what is happening; of sensing something is not right, but not knowing what it is.

And then there are those who will never know the horrors of seeing their children before their time; of being executed like animals or of being dismissed as collateral damage because they were caught in the crossfire, or mistaken for someone else, in the hands of brutal executioners who have been given a license to kill with impunity under the thin guise of law enforcement operations. I, myself, do not know this grief personally, fortunately, but I have seen others suffer it first-hand. That is why I did what I did: I called out the extrajudicial killings that were happening because I could not abide even with one such death, one such casualty, because I know that there are parents, spouses, children who are suffering the loss on a personal basis.

It's a painful situation all around.

Motherhood has its rewards of course. A huge part of why I am still fighting, of why I haven't given up and why I REFUSE to ever giving up, is because I want to give back to my children their good name; the vindication of being able to say, one day, that their mother is innocent, that she never received, directly or indirectly, even a single centavo from illegal sources, much less from the illegal drug trade; and the ability to continue holding their heads up high, knowing that their mother was fearless and selfless, when she accepted the punishments unfairly inflicted upon her as the price she was willing to pay for the return of sanity, of truth, of justice, human rights and the rule of law to our nation. That is where I draw my strength to keep on going.

To all my fellow mothers--stand up always for yourselves, for your children, and for what is good and just.

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