A Philippine senator defies her president — from behind bars

“This is political persecution. Every day that I am here is an injustice,” she said, dressed for the simmering 93-degree heat in what is now a kind of uniform: beige sandals, black shorts that stop modestly above the knee and a black-and-white T-shirt.

When a Philippine senator called for an investigation into President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody drug war, he retaliated with a verbal tirade that included threats to make her cry, throw her in jail and destroy her. Duterte, known to bristle at any kind of criticism, made good on his first two promises. But from her detention cell at police headquarters, Sen. Leila De Lima has vowed not to give him the satisfaction of the third. Her guards have been professional, she said, but she is aware of what happened to a mayor accused of drug trafficking: He was shot dead in his jail cell by police. There were rumors that she had tried to kill herself in detention. “If I die inside prison, it is not because I committed suicide,” she said. “It is because the president has finally ordered me killed.” Although she does not have access to a cellphone, laptop or Internet connection, De Lima still tries to perform her duties as senator.

Original Article (Los Angeles Times):
A Philippine senator defies her president — from behind bars
Artwork Fair Use: Sandra Grampa

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