Press Release
July 14, 2019

De Lima vows to work harder despite continued political persecution

Despite personal hardships brought about by her persecution and detention, Senator Leila M. de Lima has vowed to push for measures aimed at protecting the rights of the Filipino people, especially the less fortunate, in the incoming 18th Congress.

As the 18th Congress opens on July 22, De Lima said no amount of persecution or challenges has prevented her and will ever prevent her in the coming 18th Congress from fulfilling her duty to the Filipinos as a duly-elected Senator of the Republic.

"Most definitely I will continue advocating for human rights, including civil and political rights, as well as economic and social rights," said De Lima, who remained unjustly and illegal detained over trumped-up drug charges.

"I'm determined to push for the prison reform measures and other major human rights bills - the Human Rights Defenders Protection Act, the Anti-EJK Act and the Refugee and Stateless Persons Protection Act," she added.

In the first batch of her pet bills for the 18th Congress, De Lima filed two new measures, namely, the Barangay Health Workers Bill and the Statement of Assets, Liabilities and Net Worth Bill and refiled eight other priority measures, which include the Human Rights Defenders Protection Bill, and Prison Reform Bill, among others.

For her second batch of priority bills, De Lima filed 10 measures to include the Anti-Extrajudicial Killing Bill, amendments to the Party List Law, and other bills, such as those seeking to increase the penalty for perjury and subornation of perjury, strengthen the Philippine National Police (PNP) Human Rights Affairs Office and regulate the operations of Social Welfare and Development Agencies (SWDA), to name some.

The lady Senator from Bicol likewise vowed to ensure that the Philippines' independence and sovereign rights are being upheld and defended against foreign and local threats at all times.

"What is government if it is not functioning as a government for the people?" De Lima, the staunchest critic of the present government's crooked policies, asked.

"It is my intention that in my work as a Senator, I will continue making sure that the other branches of government are adhering to their oath to serve the Filipino people," she added.

In the previous 17th Congress, De Lima principally authored 96 bills, co-authored 57 measures, principally authored 134 resolutions and co-authored resolutions 27. Of this, 116 bills and 138 resolutions were filed while in detention.

"I consider as my greatest achievement in the 17th Congress the fact that I was able to continue working as a lawmaker and as a faithful public servant and representative of the Filipino people despite the many obstacles and limitations that have been placed upon me," she recalled.

De Lima said she particularly takes pride in the successful enactment into law of her two major social justice measures in the previous Congress, to wit: the Magna Carta of the Poor Act and the 4Ps Institutionalization Act.

"I am particularly proud of my having shepherded, with the invaluable help of Sen. Sonny Trillanes as Committee Vice Chair, the passage into law of the Magna Carta of the Poor and the 4Ps Institutionalization Act," said De Lima, chairperson of Senate Committee on Social Justice, Welfare and Rural Development.

Republic Act No. 11310, or the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (or 4Ps) Law, provides conditional cash grants to the poorest of the poor to improve their plight while Republic Act No. 11291, or Magna Carta of the Poor Law, guarantees the rights of the poor to adequate food, decent work, relevant and quality education, and housing, among others.

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