By Mario Casayuran
Detained opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed support for the thousands of women who lost their loved ones under the Duterte government’s war on illegal drugs.
In her message read at the recent gathering of women, De Lima said it is during these trying times where the strength and fortitude of women and mothers are being tested.
“Do we succumb to sadness, or do we continue to fight for justice, and for our children?Magpapalunod ba tayo sa lungkot at pananahimik, o ipaglalaban natin ang katarungan, at papanagutin ang may kasalanan?,” she added. (Should we just wallow in self pity and silence or we fight for justice and demand accountability from those who perpetrated these crimes?).
The event, entitled “Confronting Tokhang, Women’s Narrative of Survival,” was held recently at San Alberto Hurtado Hall, Social Development Complex in Ateneo de Manila University, Quezon City.
‘’Note that of the 20,000 individuals killed in the war on drugs, innocent children and teenagers who have lost their lives are now relegated by the present government as mere “collateral damage,’’ de Lima said.
De Lima, chairwoman of the Senate committee on social justice, welfare and rural development, said President Duterte is mistaken if he thinks that women are weak and incapable of facing the challenges that come their way.
We have a President today who does things on a whim,’’ she added.
De Lima, a mother of two, maintained that Duterte’s “Tokhang” would only continue if the public will allow it.
“This impunity must stop. It should end now. Our experiences as mothers and women have made us stronger. I know that we will triumph and survive despite an abusive and misogynist leader,” she added.