‘PERSECUTION WON’T BREAK ME’ | De Lima marks 100 days in detention

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Senator Leila de Lima (Reuters file photo)

Senator Leila de Lima said Saturday her detention for what she maintains are “trumped-up” drug charges “has not dampened her spirit.”

De Lima, who was arrested on February 24, will be marking her 100th day in detention at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame.

“My first 100 days of persecution have not been easy, but all the attempts to spread lies and disinformation about me, these attempts to silence me and thousands of decent Filipinos, have failed to weaken and divide us,” she said in a statement.

“Every day, it becomes clear that this administration is only fixated on discrediting the political opposition, fabricating false evidence and soliciting perjured testimonies from convicted inmates to silence us,” she added.

Since her detention, the statement said, the senator has been kept updated on current events by her staff, allowing her to release 95 handwritten “dispatches” discussing her views on various issues.

While lamenting not being able to fully perform her work, De Lima said “these persecution tactics have made me stronger than ever.”

Nevertheless, she reiterated her request for the Senate leadership to support her efforts to seek furlough to vote on crucial legislation.

Earlier, Senate President Aquilino Pimentel III said De Lima’s detention places limits on what she can do.

Despite her detention, De Lima has 10 bills and 14 resolutions, and co-authored four other bills of national importance.

She has been visited by, among others, former President Benigno S. Aquino III, Vice President Leni Robredo, members of the Senate minority, the “Magnificent 7” of the House of Representatives, Commission on Human Rights chairman Chito Gascon, and members of civil society organizations.

On May 22-24, members of the Inter-Parliamentary Union also visited De Lima.

The senator has also earned international support and recognition.

Time Magazine named her as one of the 100 Most Influential Icons for 2017, while Amnesty International named her as one of the Global Woman Human Rights Defenders.