Press Release
August 23, 2021

De Lima 'beyond grateful' to Drilon, Iloilo for re-election support

Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima is grateful to individuals from different sectors of Iloilo, as well as fellow public servants, particularly Senate Minority Leader Franklin Drilon, for supporting her campaign for re-election.

In a message read by her niece, Renzel Star Estellena, during the launch of campaign network #LabanLeila2022 in Iloilo today (Aug. 23), De Lima thanked all the individuals and groups from Iloilo who continue to stand by her amidst government persecution.

"Maraming salamat, Laban Leila Iloilo. Maraming salamat, Senator Drilon for your trust and unfailing support. I am honored to be fighting the good fight with you," she said.

"Thank you for believing in my innocence and for courageously declaring your support. Thank you for fighting with me. I am beyond grateful. Tuloy ang laban," she added.

Local leaders, artists, youth, religious, LGBTQI community, and various sectors attended the launch of #LabanLeila2022 in Iloilo from 10:00 am to 11:30, with other participants joining online via Zoom and Facebook Live.

In his recorded message, Drilon stressed that the nation needs De Lima, adding that the lady Senator from Bicol "is able to fulfill her mandate and continues to fight for the welfare of every Filipino" despite her unjust detention.

"Like all of us Ilonggos, who are known for our resilience and courage, Senator Leila shows courage every day. Her resolve to fight injustice in our country is an inspiration to all of us," he said. "Hence, my beloved Kasimanwa, I count on each of you that we will continue to stand behind Senator Leila. Let us continue to pray and call for the immediate release of Senator Leila," he added.

Aside from Drilon, messages from Former Rep. Lorenzo "Erin" Tañada III and artists like Agot Isidro and Cherrie Pie Picache, among others, were shown during the launch.

De Lima said she has no qualms running a reelection campaign from her detention cell in Camp Crame because there are people "who continue believing in me, who soldier on in our shared causes so that my story will not be reduced to irrelevance and obscurity."

"It has become a part of our people's continuing struggle for truth and justice. A part of a far greater narrative," said De Lima.

"I owe it to my family and to the memory of my father to clear our name. I owe it to the brave women who first came to my rescue when I was being maligned at the House of Representatives."

"I owe it to the mothers, widows and orphans of EJK victims who vowed to fight with me, even as they grieve the loss of their loved ones. I owe it to the young, the poor, and the workers, mostly strangers, who continue to write me letters of hope. I owe it to all of you," she added.

Last July 21, De Lima confirmed that she would seek reelection in the 2022 national elections in an indictment letter addressed to Mr. Duterte, where she stressed that the political persecution she has been subjected to by the Duterte administration only strengthened her resolve to fight for her advocacies.

Prior to the launching in Iloilo, #LabanLeila2022 initially kicked off in Cebu last Aug. 22, and will likewise be launched in Bicol and NCR on Aug. 24 and 26, respectively.

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