Press Release
February 27, 2018

Dispatch 248:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's statement on the Presidential spokesperson's claim that she is the "mother of all drug lords"

There are many lessons that I have learned in my 1 year in detention.

First, never underestimate the damage that can be done by the spread of misinformation.

Second, there are people who are literally paid to do so; they are tireless in spreading their lies because that's how they become rich, powerful or, at least, how they get an "in" with those who are actually rich and powerful.

So, no matter how tiresome it might get to contradict their lies, it must be done. For Truth has a way of letting itself known--but only if people tirelessly champion it, even when their feet are held to the proverbial fire.

So here I am again, having to contradict the lies, propaganda and false narrative being peddled by Duterte and his henchmen, most recently through the statements of his spokesperson, Harry Roque, who has been so "kind", "upstanding" and definitely "un-petty" in greeting me a "happy anniversary".

Happy, indeed. I am sure Malacañang is happy to see me suffer. But I don't feel sorry for myself. I know I am here because I stood for what is right.

But I really do feel sorry for Harry Roque. He used to have some semblance of credibility.He held himself out as a defender of the oppressed; a human rights lawyer. Now, it seems he has sold his own identity in exchange for a possible Senate run.

Mr. Roque, I understand, aspires to one day call himself a Senator. There is nothing wrong with that per se. But just because he has bartered his dignity and reputation as a human rights lawyer, in exchange for a senatorial berth in the President's party, it doesn't mean that everyone are willing to go down that path.

I, for one, did not go down that path. I value my dignity and independence more than that. No matter how many times Duterte, Alvarez, Roque, Aguirre, Calida, Acosta, Jimenez, Sandra Cam and other political operatives label me as a narco-politician, it will never be true.

The plain truth is I am under detention, not because I am the "mother of all drug lords"--ha!--but because Duterte feared being held accountable for the bloodshed he had brought down with his war on drugs, and he--and his allies who have been at the wrong end of a DOJ investigation while I was SOJ--have been frothing at the mouth to get even.

So, Mr. Roque may pretend all he wants that he speaks truths--but that is all it is: a pretense. Slowly, eventually, inevitably, the Truth will set me free. But it will shackle Roque and his cohorts in shame. I am innocent. They are not.

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