De Lima: My birthday wish is vindication

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, August 27) — Embattled Sen. Leila De Lima has a wish for her 58th birthday: vindication.

In a dispatch released on her birthday, Aug. 27, the senator said she wanted to clear her name of accusations against her, not just for herself, but for the sake of her family.

"Tulad ng nauna ko nang nabanggit, ang birthday wish ko po: vindication. Paglaya hindi lamang mula sa di-makatarungang pagpapakulong sa akin ng rehimeng Duterte, kundi pati na rin ang paglaya mula sa mga kasinungalingan at paninira sa aking pagkababae at pagkatao," De Lima said in the letter.

[Translation: Like I'd earlier said, my birthday wish is vindication. Freedom not just from my unjust detainment by the Duterte regime, but also freedom from the lies and damage against my womanhood and personhood]

De Lima is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame over charges related to illegal drugs. The senator has denied the accusations.

READ: Sen. Leila De Lima arrested over drug charges

The senator, one of President Rodrigo Duterte's staunchest critics, seeks justice.

"Patuloy ko pong dalangin ang ating tagumpay: Ang mangibabaw ang katotohanan, ang makamtan ang katarungan ng mga pamilyang pinagkaitan ng hustisya. At ang pananaig ng demokrasya," said De Lima.

[Translation: I continue to pray for our success: That truth will prevail, that justice may come to families deprived of it, and that democracy will prevail.]

De Lima said she remains thankful to God despite the challenges she faces.

"Buong puso kong nagpapasalamat sa suporta ng aking pamilya at sa inyo pong lahat na nagtitiwala at kasama kong nakikipaglaban," she said.

[Translation: I am wholeheartedly thankful for my family's support, and for everyone who believes and continues to fight with me.]

De Lima, who was Secretary of Justice from 2010 to 2015, was arrested February 24 over her alleged involvement in drug trade at the New Bilibid Prison during her time as Justice chief.

This is the 143th dispatch from her since her arrest.