Press Release
July 18, 2019

Message of Sen. Leila M. De Lima on Nelson Mandela Day

"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains,

but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."

This is one of the prominent quotes of the late Nelson Mandela, a great leader and liberator of South Africa who dedicated his life fighting against racism, abuse of power and discrimination. Despite being detained for 27 years, his indomitable spirit to uphold human rights and promote equality and reconciliation inspired his people and the rest of the world to unite towards achieving an inclusive and just society.

Indeed, Mandela's sufferings and persecution did not weaken his passion to uplift the lives of his fellow men and women and to encourage them to rise above impossible odds. It is with this principle of courage, humility and respect for the value of life and human dignity that I refiled Senate Bill Nos. 180 and 181, which seek to institute wide-ranging reforms on the country's prison and correctional systems.

In these bills, we are adopting the "Nelson Mandela Rules" into law in the Philippines with the desire to integrate, modernize and further professionalize the management of all prisons and jails in our country, and to promote and protect fundamental rights and legitimate interests of all persons deprived of liberty.

Sa panahong ito ng mapaniil, marahas at mapang-abusong pamamahala, kung saan mismong mga pinuno pa ang nagsusulong ng kawalang hustisya at kumukunsinte sa di-patas na pagtrato sa ating mamamayan, kailangan natin ng marami pang tulad ni Mandela - mga indibidwal na nagsisilbing tunay na huwaran ng malasakit at paninindigan para ipaglaban ang ating mga karapatan at kalayaan.

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