Lady Senator Leila de Lima has been a major public and political figure in the Philippines for years but her stand against the new administration brought her to a brighter, and a rather more challenging spotlight.
Online and offline, her strong statements against President Rodrigo Duterte won her passionate supporters as well as enraged haters.
To keep you informed, we have arranged several facts about the embattled senator that will give you a picture of her life as a person and a public servant:
- Her full name is Leila Norma Eulalia Josefa Magistrado de Lima.
- She will be 57 on Saturday, August 27.
- She is the eldest daughter of the former Philippine COMELEC Commissioner, Vincente de Lima.
- Leila De Lima is a native of Iriga City, a province in Camarines Sur.
- She moved to Manila to attend high school at the Consolacion Academy, presently known as La Consolacion College; She was the class Valedictorian.
- She later on earned her degree in AB History from De La Salle University.
- Unknown to most people, she placed 8th during the 1985 Bar Examinations with a rating of 86.26%.
- It’s not surprising since she was the class Salutatorian in her Bachelor of Laws at the San Beda College of Law in 1985.
- In law school, she cofounded the Lambda Rho Sigma Sorority.
- She was married to Plaridel Bohol until their annulment.
- During an interview in the past, De Lima admitted that her dedication to her job led to the collapse of her marriage.
- JoMa Sison, the founder of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) married De Lima’s aunt – therefore, he is her uncle by marriage.
- De Lima joined the government in 1993 as Clerk and Secretary of the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal.
- She focused on her private practice and set up The De Lima Law Firm in 1998.
- Former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo appointed her as the chairperson of the Philippine Commission on Human Rights (CHR) in 2008.
- Ironically, she was known as the one-woman barrier that prevented the Arroyos from leaving the country during the Arroyo trial.
- De Lima resigned from her post in the CHR to become the Secretary of the Department of Justice (DOJ), as appointed by former President Benigno S. Aquino III.
- De Lima, as the Secretary of Justice, headed Aquino’s anti-corruption campaign and was considered the only consistent member of the Aquino cabinet.
- She was a main player during the crisis of Iglesia ni Cristo (INC) when she assisted Isaias Samson, an expelled INC Minister in a case against the religious organization.
- INC Members protested at the DOJ Office while others occupied EDSA to urge De Lima to resign.
Just today, August 22, Senator Leila de Lima headed the first day of the senate hearing and investigations on the extrajudicial killings happening in the Philippines.
However, a week before these investigations, president Duterte accused her of having an affair with her former driver – who is allegedly linked to illegal drug trade. Duterte added that drug money was used in the senator’s campaign during the 2016 elections.