On Election Day, Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has appealed anew to the Filipino electorate to unite and show their force by rejecting unscrupulous candidates with records of corruption and anomalies and electing worthy individuals who will prioritize common good over selfish interests.
De Lima, a known election lawyer before she entered government service, urged the public to vote according to their conscience even as she reiterated that Election Day is not the time to let fear prevent them from fighting for truth, democracy and good governance.
"Nananawagan po ako: Ang eleksyon ay hindi panahon para matakot, lalong hindi para sumuko. Ito ay pagkakataon para ipakita ang lakas at kapangyarihan ng taumbayan na patibayin ang demokrasya at ibalik ang dangal ng ating bansa," she said.
"Reject the liars, the corrupt, and the plunderers! Reject those who would just meekly surrender their principles for power's sake. Stop the killings by voting for candidates who are not afraid to speak up and stand up for human rights and civil liberties," she added.
For the past three years of Mr. Duterte's reign, De Lima said the Filipinos witnessed a worsening record of violence and human rights abuses wherein the powerful are given immunity from their crimes while people from the poor family were not even given a day in the court.
During these challenging times, the lady Senator from Bicol said the country needs more leaders who are genuinely committed to protect human rights, uphold honesty in governance and defend our sovereignty.
"Araw-araw na patayan. Pamamaslang at panggigipit sa mga maralitang 'nanlaban'. Pagpapakulong at pagsasampa ng imbentong kaso laban sa mga kritiko. Paniniil sa media. Pambabastos sa Simbahan. Pagbabanta sa buhay ng mga Obispo at kaparian. Dagdag pa rito ang pamimigay ng ating teritoryo sa Tsina, pati na ng libo-libong trabaho dito sa mga dayuhang Tsino," said she.
"Malinaw po: Kulang ng matapang manindigan sa gobyerno ngayon. Kulang ang mga boses para sa katarungan at katotohanan sa ating mga institusyon. Marami ang takot mapag-initan at pinipiling magsunud-sunuran lang para manatili sa poder," she noted.
De Lima pointed out that the public should also not forget to pray for a fair and peaceful elections and "hope for the victory of those who would go beyond lip-service."
The lady Senator from Bicol will cast her vote today between 12 nn and 2 pm at the Saint Rita College (formerly Saint Rita School) under the Commission on Elections' "Escorted Detainee Voting System."
Source: Senate of the Philippines