Outgoing Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday, June 29 said hailed opposition Senator Risa Hontiveros’ assumption as the leader of the opposition after Vice President Leni Robredo passed the leadership to her during her oath-taking ceremony.
De Lima maintained that Hontiveros’s impeccable integrity, gravitas, courage, character and passion are what the Filipino people truly need amid these trying times.
“These milestones have come at a most opportune time in our nation’s political history, a propitious period which the ancient Greeks called ‘kairos’,” de Lima said in a statement.
“And I cannot think of anyone—other than you—who is best suited to embody the role of a genuine ‘fiscalizer’ in the Senate, and a leading light of the democratic opposition,” she added.
De Lima said she is “100% certain” that Hontiveros will not only succeed, but also excel in her newly minted mission.
“The Risa that we’ve known all these years—champion and exemplar of social justice, gender equality, good governance, peace and development–will be the same Risa (plus, plus!) that we will respect and admire even more in the days that lie ahead,” she stressed.
The former justice secretary also thanked Hontiveros for the things she does for the country and the Filipinos.
“Thank you, Risa, for all that you’ve been doing and everything that you’ll do for our country and people. Maswerte ako (I am lucky) that you are my friend and sister. Please be assured of my steadfast support and fervent prayers,” she said.
“Tanggapin mo ang aking yakap at laging pag-aalala sa ‘yo (Accept my hugs and prayers for you). May God bless, keep and sustain you. Please take care always,” she added.
Last June 27, three days before she steps down from office, Robredo administered the oath of office of Hontiveros.
The outgoing vice president passed the baton of leading the opposition to the latter who emerged victorious in her reelection bid. Hontiveros is the lone opposition who got to be elected in the last May 2022 senatorial polls.