‘Kailangan nating umusad’: De Lima vows to keep fighting as loss looms

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 10 2022 10:55 PM

Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno holds the standee of Senator Leila De Lima as they pose for pictures after the inauguration of the Leni-Kiko Volunteer Center in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City on November 27, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News
Human rights lawyer Chel Diokno holds the standee of Senator Leila De Lima as they pose for pictures after the inauguration of the Leni-Kiko Volunteer Center in Katipunan Avenue, Quezon City on November 27, 2021. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

MANILA — Detained senator Leila de Lima has vowed to continue fighting for "truth, justice, and freedom" as partial election results show she is headed for a loss in the 2022 senatorial race.

"Mapapagod, pero hindi susuko. Magagalit, pero hindi mauubos ang pagmamahal sa bayan. Mangangamba at mag-aalala, pero hindi maduduwag na ipaglaban ang tama at makatarungan," De Lima said in a lengthy dispatch from Camp Crame.

She is a distant 23rd place, with more than 7 million votes, behind Sen. Richard Gordon, who has garnered so far with 8.2 million votes, based on the partial and unofficial count as of 9 p.m. Tuesday.

De Lima also thanked her supporters who campaigned for her reelection bid.

"Sa inyo pong lahat na bumoto, nangampanya, nagbahay-bahay, nagkabit ng mga tarp, namigay ng flyers, at nag-ambag ng oras, enerhiya at talento, ang aking walang hanggang pasasalamat," the opposition senator said.

De Lima heavily relied on her supporters and volunteers to mount her campaign as she remained detained on illegal drugs charges that she decried as political persecution. 

"Mabigat po ang laban sa umpisa pa lang, pero hanggang dulo, hindi po ninyo ako iniwan. At sa lahat po ng may agam-agam sa umpisa, subalit nagawang magtiwala nang mamulat sa katotohanan, salamat din po. Nawa’y marami pa tayong maliwanagan at makasama sa laban," she added.

She revealed that she struggled to write the letter for her supporters as she learned about the election results. 

"Dahil kahit anong pilit kong intindihin ang balitang natanggap ko mula sa aking detention quarters kaninang umaga, napakabigat pa rin sa dibdib na tanggapin," the senator said.

She urged her supporters to regain their energy because the fight is not yet over. "Kailangan nating umusad at magpatuloy. Dahil walang mangyayari kung magmumukmok lang at iiwan ang nasimulan," De Lima said.

"Paunti-unti, kailangang mag-ipon ng lakas para makabangon mula sa panghihina at pagkadismaya, at buhatin ang sarili mula sa bigat na nadarama," she said.

De Lima acknowledged that the campaign season had been an "uphill battle" but an "irreplaceable treasure." 

"I don’t have any regrets. I am still and forever will be thankful for the opportunity to serve our countrymen."

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