Press Release
October 23, 2019

Dispatch from Crame No. 631:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima on the harassment of the UP Visayas Skimmers

The UP Visayas Skimmers hit the nail on the head with their performance that criticized President Duterte's anti-people policies. It smacks of the truth, without sugarcoating the reality under this administration.

Their presentation is only a reaction to the truth and reflects the brutal reality articulated by Duterte himself in his public speeches. It was a social satire that hit right through the core of present Philippine society.

When Duterte spews his usual poison about murdering people, it is quickly defended by his DDS minions as part of his playful or dark humor. But when a group of students quip about killing him, it is subversion. Because of their hard-hitting commentary, these students are now subjected to the organized hate speech of the Duterte machinery, the very same ones used to persecute me and the rest of the political opposition.

It is a horrifying truth that as the President normalizes killings and abuse, legitimate dissent is treated as a crime, and dissenters are punished for disrupting the peace.

I laud the UPV Skimmers for their patriotic creativity. Sa panahong ang mga katulad ninyong kabataan at estudyante ay patuloy na sinisikil ang karapatang magpahayag, ang inyong katapangan at pagkamalikhain ay tunay na kahanga-hanga.

Creative dissent is most powerful when it speaks of the everyday woes of the people, those that would otherwise remain unspoken and unheard. I hope your creativity would continue to inspire others to think out of the box in defying and resisting this administration.

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