Sen. Leila M. de Lima’s statement on her ‘Prize for Freedom’ Award
IT’S AN ENLIGHTENED WORLD out there. I wish I can say the same about our country’s officialdom. When bogus drug charges wantonly weaved by the Duterte regime has put me behind bars 252 days ago, I felt like everything I have worked so hard for as a human rights and justice advocate was being ripped away by lies and evilness. Words cannot fully express the pain I go through each day of a most unjust detention. Apart from fulfilling a tyrant’s personal vendetta, the singular goal of detaining me is clear—to silence and cripple me in this fight for human rights and rule of law. But this latest accolade bestowed by the Liberal International (LI), and preceded by momentous resolutions from the European Parliament (EP) and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), all condemning my political persecution and calling for my immediate release, can only further fire up my spirit. Despite the continued demonization and persecution, with virtual judicial imprimatur, I will never lose heart and will never abandon my convictions. Unbowed and unbroken I shall remain. Thank you LI! Thank you world!