Undaunted by years of detention, De Lima seeks Senate reelection

Bella Perez-Rubio - Philstar.com

MANILA, Philippines (Updated 12:23 p.m.) — Detained Sen. Leila de Lima is gunning for another six years in the Senate, filing her candidacy before the Commission on Elections through a representative Friday. 

Lawyer Dino de Leon, the senator's representative and spokesperson, filed her Certificate of Candidacy at 9:45 a.m., Friday, her office told reporters.

De Lima, an outspoken critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, has so far spent 1,687 days at the Philippine National Police headquarters in Camp Crame, Quezon City on drug cases that she holds as politically motivated and trumped up. 

De Lima was acquitted earlier this year in one of three drug cases against her. The two others remain pending in separate courts after more than four years.

Five judges have voluntarily inhibited from De Lima's cases, according to her office. Two others opted for early retirement. 

Since her arrest in 2017, she has not been allowed to participate in Senate plenary sessions or hearings. 

Even after the upper chamber shifted to holding hybrid sessions in 2020 due to the pandemic, the Muntinlupa City Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 205 in June denied De Lima's request to participate through videoconference. 

This was despite the senator's assertion that she is still in full possession of her civil and political rights, noting that the cases filed against her are still at the trial stage and she has yet to be convicted of any crime. 

De Lima is one of five senatorial candidates endorsed by the Liberal Party. She is also one of four minority members of the Senate.

'One more term to seek justice, hold Duterte accountable'

De Lima, in a statement in Filipino read out by De Leon, said she would continue to further the following advocacies if reelected:

  • Social justice
  • Human rights
  • Criminal justice reform 
  • Good governance and rule of law 
  • National sovereignty 

She also said she was running to hold Duterte accountable for alleged human rights violations, corruption, and treason. De Lima said she would seek to restore the country's democratic institutions which she accused Duterte of destroying. 

Before winning her Senate seat in 2016, De Lima was justice secretary under President Benigno Aquino III from 2010 to 2015. 

As chairperson of the Senate committee on justice, she opened a probe on alleged extrajudicial killings linked to Duterte's flagship campaign against illegal drugs.

She was later ousted from the chairmanship upon the motion of Sen. Manny Pacquiao and replaced by Sen. Richard Gordon. 

As It Happens
LATEST UPDATE: November 30, 2021 - 10:32am

Follow this thread for updates on the aspirants for local and national posts in the May 2022 elections. — Main photo by The STAR/Boy Santos

November 30, 2021 - 10:32am

Comelec spokesperson James Jimenez says there will be "no substitution" since Sen. Bong Go's announcement is a voluntary withdrawal. Go is PDP-Laban's presidential bet.

When he filed his COC for presidency, Go however ran under PDDS or Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan. He substituted for presidential bet Grepor Belgica who backed out from the presidential race. — Kristine Joy Patag

November 30, 2021 - 9:49am

Sen. Christopher "Bong" Go, administration presidential candidate under an allied party of PDP-Laban, is withdrawing his candidacy, state media reports.

CNN Philippines also reports that Go has said he will withdraw.

The announcement of his withdrawal comes after days of President Rodrigo Duterte's longtime aide giving hints that he may drop out of the presidential race.

This would leave the administration PDP-Laban party without an official candidate in the 2022 elections for now.

Go was elected in the 2019 midterm polls and still has a seat at the Senate until 2025.

November 25, 2021 - 9:49am

Manila Mayor Isko Moreno, who is running for president, has tested negative for cocaine, shabu, marijuana and other illegal substances, according to a photo posted by his team.

November 23, 2021 - 3:48pm

The son and namesake of the Philippines' former dictator Ferdinand Marcos says he took a cocaine test after President Rodrigo Duterte accused an unnamed presidential candidate of using the illegal drug.

Marcos Jr, who is among the frontrunners seeking to succeed Duterte in 2022, says in a statement he was tested Monday and had submitted the result to three police agencies.

He tells a local broadcaster he had tested negative.

"I really don't feel that I am the one being alluded to," says Marcos Jr, popularly known as "Bongbong". — AFP

November 13, 2021 - 4:53pm

Sen. Bong Go withdraws candidacy for vice president and files candidacy for president under Pederalismo ng Dugong Dakilang Samahan, PDP-Laban Secretary General Melvin Matibag says. — Xave Gregorio

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