De Lima’s ‘dilemma’: Her 84-year-old mother

Camille Elemia

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De Lima’s ‘dilemma’: Her 84-year-old mother
'My siblings can no longer justify to her my prolonged absence... Shall we tell her or not that her daughter is in prison?' writes the detained senator

Aside from the drug charges and ethics complaints against her, detained Senator Leila de Lima has another “dilemma” to solve – this time, involving her family.

De Lima has been in detention for nearly a month now, yet her 84-year-old mother Norma Magistrado de Lima still has no idea about the true condition of her eldest daughter.

“My 84-year-old mother has no inkling as to my current situation. What my brothers and sister have told her is that I’m abroad for an official business,” the senator said in a handwritten note dated Monday, March 13.

“I’m sure that she has started to wonder why my foreign trip is taking so long, given my preference for brevity of such trips. My siblings can no longer justify to her my prolonged absence,” she added.

Days before her arrest, the senator gathered her siblings and their families to “prepare” them for the inevitable. De Lima earlier said she intentionally excluded her mother and her son Israel, who has a special condition, from the meeting. (READ: De Lima and her 2 ‘inspirations’ while in jail)

“[I] keep debating with myself – shall we tell her or not that her daughter is in prison? But knowing the truth about what was done to me by this vengeful President and his ilk will surely cause her misery and grief – an unnecessary pain,” said De Lima, President Rodrigo Duterte’s fiercest critic.

“This is a real dilemma for our family,” she said.

The Supreme Court oral arguments on De Lima’s case began Tuesday afternoon, March 14. She is being defended by respected and prominent lawyers, including former senators Wigberto Tañada and Rene Saguisag. –

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Camille Elemia

Camille Elemia is a former multimedia reporter for Rappler. She covered media and disinformation, the Senate, the Office of the President, and politics.