MANILA - Senator Leila de Lima said she was in tears inside her detention cell as she failed to attend her son's graduation from law school on Sunday.
De Lima said she was not allowed by a Muntinlupa court to attend the graduation of her son, Vicent Josh, because of "very high" flight risks.
"Never did I imagine I wouldn’t be able to be there with him, bearing witness to his triumph, and being what all mothers by definition are meant to be: the number one cheerleader and supporter of their child," she wrote in a lengthy letter.
"As I write this, I am almost ashamed to say that I am crying," she added. "Pero tao lang ako. (I'm only human.)"
De Lima addressed her son in her letter.
"Law school, by itself, is no cakewalk. Lesser persons would have given up on their dreams, and taken the easier way out. But not you. You are made of sterner stuff. I am both humbled and proud of the man you have become," she said.
The senator said the only favor she asked from the court in her 465 days in detention was to be able to attend her son's graduation, the same favor asked by other high-profile detainees.
"I wonder if those who are so petty and heartless as to deny a mother this small chance at being with her son can say the same thing," she added.
De Lima said her children are the ones that are making her stronger while in detention.
The lawmaker has been detained since February 2017 over allegations that she accepted drug money from detained crime lords when she was justice secretary. She denied the charges.