Detained De Lima wants to learn how to paint
Detained De Lima wants to learn how to paint

Jasmin Dulay

Opposition Senator Leila de Lima is taking on new hobbies to cope with her daily struggles inside detention

Detained opposition senator Leila de Lima said she wants to learn how to paint, a hobby she is encouraged to learn to be able to cope with her struggles inside detention. (READ: De Lima preparing for a more difficult 2018)

“With encouragements from loyal supporters who regularly visit her, De Lima has also been convinced to give painting lessons a shot, which she said she would start anytime this year,” said her office in a statement on Sunday, January 7.

De Lima was arrested in February 2017 over drug charges filed by the Department of Justice. She is a vocal critic of President Rodrigo Duterte, whom she investigated for human rights violations when she was chief of the Commission on Human Rights. (TIMELINE: Probing into the Davao Death Squad)

De Lima said she’s already keeping herself busy drafting legislative measures that will promote the welfare and protect the rights of Filipinos. But she needs other hobbies so she won’t get depressed.

Aside from reading books, De Lima said taking care of plants and petting stray cats are her new hobbies inside the detention facility. 

“I don’t want to be depressed, and good thing I’ve never been. Yes, I’m sad at times but never depressed,” she shared.

De Lima was also inspired by her 35-year-old son Israel to learn painting. Israel, who is special, held an exhibit last year to showcase his output from his time at the Young Artists’ Studio.

“He is my angel and my inspiration. He inspires me to do things, be it venturing into painting or continuing my fight for justice and the rule of law,” De Lima said.

Congress will return from its holiday break on January 15. De Lima said she is currently reviewing bills and resolutions her staff are slated to file soon.

“I keep myself busy while regularly working on filing bills and resolutions because I don’t want my mind to be idle and be lured into bitterness or depression,” the senator added.

Despite her detention, De Lima filed 24 bills and 48 resolutions in the Senate last year.

“Since her illegal arrest and unjust detention at the Philippine National Police-Custodial Center, in Camp Crame, Quezon City, she has also issued 215 dispatches about her views about policy and political issues in the country,” the senator’s office said. –

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