De Lima Urges Public to “Fight Greatest Fight Since EDSA People Power”

Senator Leila De Lima urges the public to fight the country’s “greatest” battle since the 1986 People Power Revolution (sometimes dubbed by netizens as EDSA I) which saw the ouster of former President Ferdinand Marcos; though she clarified that she’s not asking the people to take to the streets to call for the ouster of President Rodrigo Duterte.

On October 13, 2016, speaking at the College of the Holy Spirit for the human rights and democracy forum, De Lima said, “I’m here, not to call on you to fight for me. While I thank everyone who has expressed their support for me, I know that my battles are my own.

It can be recalled that De Lima is under intense public scrutiny over several allegations that she’s involved in the drug trade, principally at the New Bilibid Prison (NBP); her camp believes that the president and his men are behind the ‘demolition job’, especially because she has been Duterte’s fiercest critic even during the election period.

By Alex Nuevaespaña [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Alex Nuevaespaña [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

I’m here to ask you to fight the greatest fight our nation has faced since the People Power Revolution in 1986. But it is not a fight against the President. Not a fight against his men,” De Lima further said.

The battlefield is actually the Filipino people’s minds. Social media has been weaponized – by their own admission. Humor has been weaponized by turning serious issues like rape and other women’s issues into laughing matters.

But will the people heed her call? Quite possibly, the supporters of Pres. Duterte would simply laugh this one off as another one of her ‘dramas’ but De Lima was adamant that the people listen, even those who voted for the president.

By Presidential Communications Operations Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

By Presidential Communications Operations Office [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

You are not expected, or should be made to believe you’re obligated to defend your elected leader’s behavior after they assume power. Those acts are their own and you have all the right in the world to voice your objection,” she addressed Duterte’s supporters.

Don’t let anyone make you feel that you are complicit to their crimes just because you exercised your right to vote. ‘Wag ka pong maniwala na ang pagboto mo ay lisensiya niya para lapastanganin ang inyong mga karapatan at mas lalo na ang pumatay ay lumapastangan sa karapatan ng iba sa inyong pangalan. (Do not believe that your vote gives him [Duterte] the license to violate your rights; more so, this does not give him the right to violate other people’s rights in your name.)”

What is EDSA People Power?

The EDSA people power is the non-violent protest done by the Filipino people at EDSA, the primary thoroughfare in Metro Manila, which led to the ouster of a dictator, former President Ferdinand Marcos.