Opposition Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday hit President Rodrigo Duterte for “falsely” claiming that the Filipino people benefitted from the alleged killings in his administration’s bloody drug war.


MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima has debunked false information spreading online claiming she is not qualified to run for another Senate term, as she slammed “paid trolls” for perpetuating “fake news” against her reelection bid.

According to De Lima, she has met all the qualifications to run for senator under the 1987 Constitution and is allowed to seek reelection since she has “not been convicted, let alone by final judgment, of any criminal offense.”

“Nakarating po sa akin na may ipinapakalat na naman na fake news ang mga bayarang trolls na ako daw ay hindi kwalipikado na tumakbo sa Halalan 2022 dahil nakakulong ako. Huwag po kayong maniwala,” De Lima wrote in a dispatch from Camp Crame Tuesday.

(It came to my attention that paid trolls are spreading the news about me that I am not qualified to run in the 2022 elections because I am detained. Don’t believe them.)

“I have all the qualifications for Senator as set forth in the 1987 Constitution (Sec. 3, Art. VI) and none of the disqualifications provided under the law (Sec. 12 & Sec. 68, Omnibus Election Code),” she added.

The senator then called on the public to be smart and exercise vigilance, stressing that the false information about her Senate bid is “obviously part of a disinformation campaign against her as she declared her candidacy.”

“Labanan ang mga kasinungalingan, lalo na ngayong [Let us fight lies, especially during the] election period. Let’s be very discerning and vigilant,” she said.

In a separate statement, De Lima also asked Filipinos to “always make it a habit to check the legitimacy or veracity of any pieces of information that we read online before believing them.”

“Ngayong papalapit na ang eleksyon, asahan na ang paninira at pagpapakalat ng maling impormasyon ng mga gustong manatili sa poder at ng kanilang mga kasabwat para patuloy na pagtakpan ang kanilang kalokohan at nang hindi sila mapanagot sa hinaharap,” she said.

(With the elections getting closer, expect more defamation and false information being spread by those who want to remain in power and their cohorts in order to hide their shenanigans and make them escape accountability in the future.)

De Lima has been detained in Camp Crame since February 2017 over drug-related charges, which the senator has repeatedly called as “trumped-up.”

The senator filed her certificate of candidacy through her lawyer last October 8, as she sought to advocate for social justice, human rights, criminal justice reform, good governance, rule of law and national sovereignty.


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