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Parang kailan lang: De Lima reflects on 1 year in detention

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Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Saturday marked her first year in detention being surrounded by friends and supporters, including past and present colleagues in government.

De Lima was detained on Feb. 24, 2017 at the Phil. National Police (PNP) Custodial Center on drug charges.

She claimed that her detention was politically-motivated for being critical of the Duterte administration’s war on drugs.

“Pasensya na po, siksikan tayo,” De Lima told her guests who attended the Mass celebrated inside her cell.

Among them are members of the Senate minority, opposition congressmen, former President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino and former interior secretary Mar Roxas.

De Lima elicited more laughter when she told Roxas, “Secretary Mar, your healthy lifestyle is evident and I heard you got yourself a new, stunning girlfriend.”

She was referring to Roxas’ wife, Korina Sanchez, whose beauty endorsements went viral in online platforms recently.

Turning serious, De Lima said that she had realized that her 365 days in detention is “a dichotomy of sentiments.”

“It is both too short and too long. It is both a curse and a blessing. It has both made me weaker and stronger. Parang kailan lang,” she said.

De Lima said that her first year in unjust detention is “like a coiled rope that once you untangle, hindi pala ganun kaikli.”

“It’s been too long. It’s been like an eternity, trapped in another world,” she said. For someone innocent, to be held even just for one day “is unbearable,” she added.