De Lima turns 60 behind bars, has 'no regrets'


Posted at Aug 27 2019 11:37 AM

De Lima turns 60 behind bars, has 'no regrets' 1
Sen. Leila De Lima, arrested on drug charges, waves to supporters as she arrives to appear before a local court for her arraignment in Muntinlupa city, south of Manila, Philippines October 13, 2017. Romeo Ranoco, Reuters/File

MANILA - Detained Sen. Leila de Lima turned 60 on Tuesday, saying she had "no regrets in spite of a rollercoaster life."

De Lima, an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has been detained since February 2017 after she was accused by convicted criminals of pocketing drug payoffs when she was still justice secretary during the previous administration, which she denied.

Asked about becoming a senior citizen, the opposition senator said she felt "wiser but humbler."

"Aside from imagining myself as a card holder (which I cannot use anyway while I remain locked up), I’ll be reflecting on my life’s triumphs and failures," she said in a statement.

"One thing is sure though – no regrets in spite of a rollercoaster life. It’s still a beautiful life, overall," she added.

This is De Lima's third birthday at the national police headquarter's Custodial Center in Camp Crame, Quezon City.

De Lima dubbed her birthday as a "turning point in a life of adversities, adventures and misadventures, successes and failures, and crises."

She also said she would "remain defiant, fighting for the causes of truth, justice and human rights."

De Lima will mark her birthday in an intimate gathering with family members, close friends and staff members, highlighted by a Holy Mass, according to her office.

The senator visited her ailing mother in their hometown in Iriga City during a 48-hour furlough earlier this month.

A group of private individuals and former government officials on Monday launched a “committee” that seeks to drum up support for De Lima's release.