Press Release
October 22, 2021

Dispatch from Crame No. 1164:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on running in the same slate as Sen. Gordon

Many have been asking if Sen. Gordon's inclusion in VP Leni's senatorial slate is acceptable to me, given the perception that he played a role in my persecution as demonstrated in certain past Senate hearings.

I did not object to Sen. Gordon's inclusion and I do not intend to do so. I perceive a change of heart and regret of the past when he chastised Duterte recently for imprisoning "a senator elected by the people".

I also recognize and fully appreciate Sen. Gordon's courageous conduct in the face of Duterte's weekly personal attacks on him, now that he is the one who is speaking against Duterte in defiance of the latter's wishes that the Blue Ribbon Committee shut down the Pharmally hearings.

Sen. Gordon has gotten a taste of Duterte's venom and viciousness, a fraction of what was done to me four years ago. He currently experiences similar character assassination and mindless demolition of reputation that I did in the hands of Duterte. Come to think of it now, we are a small and exclusive club. We should stick together and help each other until this person who so dishonored us is held to account, and punished, for his excesses.

Most important of all, there is a greater battle to fight, bigger than my own struggles and personal hurt feelings over those who wronged me in the past. If people can change and regret the wrong that they did to me, the least I can do is to put my hurt feelings behind for the sake of uniting against and defeating the evil who is Duterte and his anointed lackey who threatens to continue his kind of malevolent regime beyond 2022.

After all, this was never about me, just as the Pharmally investigation now is not about Sen. Gordon. Ang isyu noon, hanggang ngayon, ay ang pananamantala, pang-aabuso at tuluyang pagpatay sa mga mamamayan sa kamay ng mga taong dapat nagsisilbi at nagproprotekta sa kanila. My fight was about the victims of EJKs, their families, and every Filipino whose lives and security were made pawns by Duterte's power play, just as Sen. Gordon's now is about accountability for the lives lost and put in peril while Duterte and his minions are pocketing Filipino taxpayers' money. It was Duterte who shifted the focus because he feared facing the truth and consequences of his own guilt.

That's where we, Senator Gordon and I, can find a common ground to stand on: it is time for Duterte to learn about the Power of Truth and the Consequences of Betraying the People.

(Access the handwritten version, here:

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