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Artists, allies, to do another online concert for De Lima’s release

By: Gabriel Pabico Lalu – Reporter/INQUIRER.net / February 21, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Several artists and musicians are expected to participate in an online concert in support of Senator Leila de Lima, who remains in detention for drug-related charges.

A statement from De Lima’s office said the online concert, “Leilaya! Mga Tinig at Himig ng Paglaya,” will be held on Wednesday, February 24 — to mark the senator’s fourth year in detention.

Among the musicians who will participate are Agot Isidro, Ebe Dancel, Bugoy Drilon, Gary Granada, Bituin Escalante, Bayang Barrios, Cooky Chua, Pochoy Labog of Dicta License, True Faith, Mae Paner, and Pinky Amador.

De Lima’s allies in the opposition — Vice President Leni Robredo, Senator Franklin Drilon, Senator Risa Hontiveros, and Senator Kiko Pangilinan — will also join the concert and will give their messages of solidarity.

“Renowned musicians, artists, activists, and political and religious leaders here and abroad will gather in another online community jamming to express their support for opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima who will be marking her fourth year in unjust detention on Feb. 24,” De Lima’s office said.

“The online community jamming will be available for audience viewing through live streaming of Free Leila Movement, Free Leila Committee, and the official Leila de Lima Facebook pages at 7:30 pm on Feb. 24,” it added.

This is not the first concert held online for De Lima during the Covid-19 pandemic.  Last August 28, supporters including those who will perform on Wednesday also greeted the senator on her birthday, along with wishes that she be given freedom.

De Lima is detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center in Camp Crame for drug-related charges after she was accused of mismanaging the problem of illegal drugs inside the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) while she was Justice secretary.

She is also accused of receiving payoffs from drug lords — a claim that she vehemently denies.  De Lima has insisted numerous times that her imprisonment is mainly due to her criticisms of President Rodrigo Duterte’s war against illegal drugs.

De Lima earlier won one of the three drug cases filed against her by the Duterte administration in connection with alleged involvement in a conspiracy to promote drug trade at the NBP.

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