Detained Senator Leila de Lima has called on the public to keep the fight against abusive leaders and threats to human rights in 2020.
In her message issued in time for the New Year celebration, De Lima said the hope that a New Year brings should fuel the people to push for a more just and humane society.
“People should see 2020 as a time to fight back and fight more against abusive leaders and not be cowed to threats and oppression. Ang hiling ko po’t dalangin ay mas maging matatag po sana ang bawat isa sa pagharap ng mga bagong hamon ngayong taon,” de Lima said.
“Mas tibayan pa ang ating pananampalataya, at mas lakasan pa ang panawagan para sa isang lipunang makatarungan at may paggalang sa karapatan ng bawat Pilipino, anuman ang kasarian, edad at paniniwala,” she added.
De Lima then called on the public to offer prayers for the victims of recent typhoons Tisoy and Ursula that hit the country during the Christmas season.
“Sa hindi inaasahang mga pagkakataon, may mga papasok na Bagong Taon na mas matimbang ang pangamba at mas mabigat ang mga pagsubok dahil sa mga hinaharap nating problema at sa mga nagdaang trahedya. Patuloy po nating ipagdasal ang mga biktima at ang kanilang naulilang pamilya,” she added.
De Lima has been in detention since February 2017 due to two pending drug-related charges connected to the drug trade at the New Bilibid Prisons during her tenure as Secretary of Department of Justice from 2010 to 2016.
De Lima has denied such charges and has accused the government of persecuting her just because she is staunchly against the government’s drug war that has left over 5,700 drug suspects dead without charges filed or trial.
Recently, De Lima received support from US lawmakers.
President Donald Trump signed the 2020 US national budget law which contains provisions banning De Lima’s accusers from entering the US due to her supposed unjust prosecution here in the Philippines.
In September 2016, then Justice Chief Vitaliano Aguirre had said the drug money cannot be traced to De Lima's bank accounts but to those accounts of persons close to her.
State prosecutors are yet to present evidence of bank accounts linking de Lima to the drug trade in the Bilibid during the ongoing trial of de Lima’s case to this day. — BAP, GMA News