Press Release
June 12, 2018

De Lima urges concerted effort vs gov't abuses to achieve true independence

As the entire nation commemorates the 120th Philippine Independence Day today, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has called on her countrymen to intensify their fight for genuine freedom and democracy, which are consistently being threatened by the rule of President Duterte.

By posing categorical questions, De Lima stated how the Filipinos, who continue to suffer under the despotic rule of President Duterte, are not truly "free."

"Kalayaan ba na maging dayuhan sa Pilipinas ang mga Pilipinong mangingisda? [K]alayaan ba ang pagkakaroon ng isang gobyernong duwag sa isyu ng pang-aagaw sa ating teritoryo, pero napakatapang naman sa pagbusal sa bibig ng mga kritiko at pagsupil sa malayang pamamahayag?" she asked.

"Kalayaan ba ang pambabastos at pagyurak sa dignidad ng kababaihan, at garapalang pagbalewala sa karapatan ng mga nasa laylayan—mga maralitang pinapatay na nga sa gutom at kahirapan ay kinikitil pa ng karahasang inuudyukan mismo ng pamahalaan.

"Na habang nagkakandakuba ang marami sa paghahanap-buhay, sa mababang pasahod, pagtaas ng mga bilihin, sa di-matapos-tapos na 'Endo', ay sila pang nasasagasaan ng 'marahas' na buwis sa ilalim ng TRAIN Law," she added.

De Lima, the first prominent political prisoner under the Duterte regime and the staunchest critic of the administration's war on drugs, released her statement in time with the celebration of Independence Day on June 12.

While the Filipinos continue to suffer, De Lima said the President continues to promote a culture of impunity by not holding his allies and family members accountable of the crimes or government abuses they have committed.

In these challenging times, the Senator from Bicol said the Filipino people are expected to work together not only to achieve true independence but also to save the country from further shame and degradation.

"Sama-sama, ibangon natin ang Pilipinas mula sa matinding kahihiyan, kasinungalingan at kabuktutan," she said.

"Dito at dito lamang natin makakamit ang ganap na kalayaan. Dito at dito lamang muling magniningas ang araw at mga bituin ng ating watawat dala-dala ang liwanag ng katotohanan at katarungan para sa lahat," she added.

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