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Inspired! De Lima’s spirits get a boost from being in TIME’s 100 list

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Senator Leila de Lima said she’s deeply humbled by the recognition given her by TIME Magazine, including her as among the so-called “icons” in its list of 100 most influential people in the world.

The detained senator, in a statement issued Friday (April 21), said the international recognition given to her provides her the needed motivation to continue fighting for what she believes in “even as darkness surrounds us now.”

“The worlds keeps watch and shins a light on us, until the time comes, when we can finally bear our own torch once again and chase away the monster that enslaves us in evil,” she said.

“The struggle for human rights and the fight for justice for those who have been murdered by the Duterte regime in its drug war are not popular causes as of the moment. For many of our countrymen, it is more convenient to huddle up close to Malacanang and reap the benefits of being a sycophant, rather than take the road less travelled but be the victim of political persecution by a vengeful strongman,” De Lima added.

Given the popularity of President Duterte, the senator said that she could have opted to “stay silent and dance with the regime’s music” and be spared from all the wrath of the administration on her being vocal of her criticisms.

“But that would have been a betrayal of the country, the oppressed, the marginalized and the fight for justice. It would have been a betrayal of my father, my sons and my family. I cannot, for once, contemplate capitulating to the dark side that this regime now embodies in exchange for a comfortable but opportunistic life,” she said.

TIME lauded De Lima for standing up to Duterte. In her writeup for De Lima, former United States Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power said: “It is a disturbing testament to the current solidarity among strongmen and the global surge in impunity that De Lima’s cause has not been more embraced.”