Leila de Lima (Philippines)


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Leila de Lima is a Senator in the Philippine government. In August 2016, as chair of the Senate committee on justice and human rights, she initiated an inquiry into the spate of ‘extrajudicial’ killings that has taken place since President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office at

the end of June (more than 3,400 alleged drug dealers and users have been killed). Senator de Lima says she has been harassed, threatened and sent thousands of abusive text messages, and then ousted from her main position in government and told she will be sent to prison. “It is so absurd it is almost surreal,” she said. “It is because I dared speak, I dared question and oppose the methods being employed in this war on drugs. I was hounded — almost 2,000 threatening and harassing text messages, very, very foul, the vilest language.”
She says friends have asked why she does not stop her campaign but she has no intention of giving up. “I have a choice,” she says.
“Surrendering everything and just keeping quiet and probably resigning from this post [as senator] and just waiting for all of those cases to be filed against me — or fight. I choose to fight, for as long as I can, for as long as I will be allowed to do so, for as long as I am
alive.”