Tears for Leila De Lima #LabanLeila #TearsforLeila

Dear Sen. De Lima,

I first met you during the campaign season. I was sitting inside the airport terminal, can’t remember which one, when you are suddenly in front of me offering a handshake. “Leila De Lima po,” you said. It was my first time to experience being approached by a candidate — I was caught by surprise.

I was happy to see women like you running for public office. We need women leaders who will speak their minds and fight for what is right. I thought you can be a cool hardcore legislator like Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago.

Just now, I find myself in tears after watching how the Department of Justice, House of Representatives, and Senate of the Philippines carried an all-out assault to destroy you.

We live in a dark time where to have an opposing and critical (vocal) point of view is unpopular and dangerous. Where everyone is scared and it is only you who has shown strength and fortitude to question accountability on the extra-judicial killings happening in our country.

You said it is going to be a lonely journey for you. That those who were inconvenienced by your efforts in clearing up the prison system during your time as DOJ Secretary are getting back at you. To my surprise, prison inmates are given immunity to go against you while your witness was not given any protection. What’s happening to our country?

Please know that I have you in my prayers. For each day you fight on, you give me hope that we still have democracy and free speech in our country.

I believe in you. #StayStrongLeila