By Ernie Reyes
MANILA — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima thanked friends and
individuals from different sectors for coming together to express
their support for the filing of her Certificate of Candidacy (CoC)
last Oct. 8.
“I would like to thank those who continuously show their unwavering
support, compassion, and faith in me; those who have expressed their
love and well wishes online; those who, despite the fake news and lies
that the Duterte regime spreads, still remain by my side—knowing that
I am innocent of the trumped-up charges against me. Sa inyo pong
lahat, maraming, maraming salamat sa inyong dasal, tiwala at suporta.
De Lima, who remains detained over bogus drug charges, said she is
“beyond grateful” not only for their steadfast support but also for
their commitment to campaign for her despite all the challenges.
“I may not have personally filed my CoC and saw friends and
supporters, but knowing that they went out there and declared their
support for me is enough reminder that I am blessed to have people
fighting alongside me to help secure a renewed mandate from the
Filipino people. I am beyond grateful for their support,” she said.
Atty. Dino de Leon, De Lima’s authorized representative, legal counsel
and Spokesperson, filed the Senator’s COC on her behalf. He was joined
by Atty. Fhillip D. Sawali, De Lima’s Chief of Staff and Campaign
Coordinator and Atty. Filibon Tacardon, also one of De Lima’s legal
“I am also grateful that I have such brave and competent co-warriors
in the three lawyers who represented me in filing my CoC – Attorneys
Fhillip, Boni and Dino – whom I have the honor to work and share the
burdens of my mandate with,” she said.
Notably, representatives from the sectors of the PWDs, riders, urban
poor, LGBTQIA+ and 4Ps beneficiaries, along with De Lima’s spiritual
advisor Fr. Flavie Villanueva and #EveryWoman’s Prof. Socorro Reyes,
received the Senator’s CoC from her Head Executive Assistant Prince
Hermida in front of Camp Crame, Quezon City, where the Senator is
Fr. Villanueva maintained that the Filipino should vote for De Lima in
the 2022 national elections so she could strengthen her fight against
injustice, including killings.
“Itigil ang patayan. Itigil ang pagpatay sa katarungan. Itigil ang
paniniil sa katotohanan. Palayain si Sen. Leila. Ihalal natin siya sa
Senado upang patuloy na maipagtanggol ang katarungan, ang
katotohanan,” he said.
Reyes, for her part, said: “Kami ay nagsama-sama para patuloy na
suportahan si Sen. Leila de Lima laban sa pambabastos, laban sa
paglabag sa kanyang karapatan. Kailangan palayain na siya.”
“Kailangan natin siyang ihalal muli at kailangang palayain. Ang
kanyang paglaya ay hindi lamang paglaya ng isang tao kundi paglaya ng
lipunan,” she added.
De Lima confirmed that she would seek reelection in the 2022 national
elections in an indictment letter addressed to Mr. Duterte last July