Maria Ressa Allegedly Tried to Visit Detained Leila De Lima After Nobel Win
Journalist Maria Ressa allegedly tried to visit Senator Leila De Lima inside the jail after winning the Nobel Prize, according to senator’s spox.
Lawyer Dino de Leon, De Lima’s counsel and spokesperson, said the Rappler CEO attempted to meet the convicted Senator before departing for Oslo to accept the Nobel Peace Prize. According to Ressa, De Lima is one of the persons who is shining the light on democracy, demonstrating that there is still hope for our democracy.
“Bago siya pumunta sa Oslo, sinubukan ni Maria Ressa bumisita kay Senator Leila De Lima dahil as a Nobel Peace Laureate, sabi niya, isa si Senator Leila De Lima sa nagpapakinang ng ating demokrasya, na mayroon pa ring hope dito sa ating democracy,” said de Leon.
They were disappointed, however, because she was not permitted to visit. In early October, Ressa received the Nobel Peace Prize for her work to protect freedom of expression.
The renowned prize was presented to the investigative journalist, who is under pressure from authorities, at a small event at Oslo City Hall on Friday. During her Nobel Laureate speech, Ressa expressly acknowledged De Lima, emphasizing that there have been “costs” for individuals who help keep journalists safe and functioning in the country.
De Lima, a former Justice Secretary who has been a vocal critic of Duterte’s administration, is been held at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center at Camp Crame since February 2017 on drug-related charges. In February of this year, a Muntinlupa City court dismissed a drug complaint against her. She has denied participating in the illegal drug trade on numerous occasions.
De Lima is running for re-election in the national elections in May 2022. She stated that she wanted the next administration to restore justice, saying that her detention had strengthened her resolve.
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