De Lima has no qualms running in the same slate as Gordon

De Lima has no qualms running in the same slate as Gordon

By Ernie Reyes

MANILA — In a handwritten dispatch, opposition Senator Leila M. de
Lima explained why she is not opposed to Sen. Richard Gordon’s
inclusion in the senatorial ticket of Vice President and Presidential
aspirant Leni Robredo for the May 2022 polls.

De Lima, the most prominent political prisoner under the Duterte
regime who is now running in the same slate as Gordon, said that she
“did not object to Gordon’s inclusion and I do not intend to do so”
because she can “perceive a change of heart and regret of the past
when he chastised Duterte recently for imprisoning ‘a senator elected
by the people.”

“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,” she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1164.

De Lima said she recognizes what she called Gordon’s “courageous
conduct” in the face of Duterte’s weekly personal attacks on him,
noting that he is the one speaking against Duterte in defiance of the
latter’s wishes that the Blue Ribbon Committee shut down the hearings
on the irregularities in the COVID-related purchases involving
Pharmally.

“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,” she said.

“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,” she added.

De Lima further stressed that there is a greater battle to fight which
is bigger than her own struggles and personal hurt feelings over those
who wronged her 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,” she said.

“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,” she added.

De Lima said if she and Gordon can find a common ground to stand on,
it is this: “it is time for Duterte to learn about the Power of Truth
and the Consequences of Betraying the People.” (ai/mtvn)

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