Liberal Party

Leila de Lima is designated Liberal Party spokesperson

Kaycee Valmonte

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Leila de Lima is designated Liberal Party spokesperson

FREED. Former senator Leila de Lima holds a press briefing in a hotel after her release from detention at the PNP Custodial Center, in Quezon City on November 13, 2023.

Jire Carreon/Rappler

'She has not revealed, however, her future political plans pending thorough consultation with allies and kin,' says Liberal Party president and Albay 1st District Representative Edcel Lagman

MANILA, Philippines – Weeks after posting bail, staunch Duterte critic and former senator Leila de Lima has been appointed as the official spokesperson of the Liberal Party (LP).

This does not necessarily mean she is thrusting herself back into politics, LP president Edcel Lagman said.

“She has not revealed, however, her future political plans pending thorough consultation with allies and kin,” Lagman, also Albay 1st District Representative, said in a statement on Tuesday, December 5.

The former senator spent nearly seven years in jail while braving misogynistic attacks and other threats all because of her criticisms of former president Rodrigo Duterte and his bloody war on drugs. Of the three drug charges filed against her, two have already been junked.

Lagman, however, did note that De Lima is “committed to resume her active role in advocating and enhancing the party’s advocacy on good governance, social justice, and liberalism.”

De Lima was designated as the official spokesman on Monday, December 4, during the political party’s management committee meeting. De Lima was previously the party’s vice president for policy, platform, and advocacy.

De Lima said on Tuesday she is “honored and grateful” to be the new LP spokesperson. 

“I hope to convey our party’s message of reforms and advocacy on good governance, social justice, and civil liberties,” she added.

De Lima first ran for a Senate seat in 2016 under the LP with the slate of former Secretary of Interior and Local Government Mar Roxas. She won but spent most of her 6-year term as senator behind bars and failed to secure a second term as senator in 2022.

De Lima served as justice secretary from 2010 to 2015 and before that, as chairperson of the Commission on Human Rights from 2008 to 2010 – where she also investigated killings allegedly by the Davao Death Squad under then-Davao mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

The LP was a big political party during the administration of the late President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III from 2010 to 2016. Many of its members, however, have since joined other political parties. – Rappler.com

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