‘Like Arya Stark’: De Lima ready with list of jailers

MANILA, Philippines — Sen. Leila de Lima said on Saturday she would soon submit to the United States the list of her persecutors in connection with its decision to ban the entry of Philippine officials involved in her detention.

The senator, however, said the list was “recommendatory” and that she would defer to the US government whether to release a final list.


De Lima said the names of her persecutors had been in her head even before the United States issued its decision, likening it to the kill list of a character in the popular TV show “Game of Thrones.”

‘Like a litany’

“Yes, I have their names stored in my mind all this time (not unlike the names Arya Stark used to recite like a litany, after her father was falsely branded and punished as a traitor by the power players in the Kingdom, who were acting out of fear of the truth he might reveal), even before this whole issue of the US visa ban cropped up,” De Lima, one of President Duterte’s most vocal critics, said in a statement from her detention cell in Camp Crame.


The names that she would submit to the US Department of State would come with a summary and citation of reference to justify their inclusion, but she conceded that her list would just be recommendatory.

Credible information

De Lima, who has been detained on charges of drug trading inside the national penitentiary, said it would be the US Department of State prerogative to draw up its own list based on credible information from its own sources, although she hoped the United States would consider her submission. “The US authorities will remain independent in their exercise of judgment and discretion, though I do hope that they give my list due consideration,” she said

She will keep her list under wraps so as not to preempt the state department, De Lima said.

“After all, this is not a process of vengeance, but of justice,” she added.

US budget bill

The United States earlier approved an amendment to the appropriations bill that allowed the state department to ban the entry of Philippine officials involved in De Lima’s “wrongful imprisonment.”

The amendment was introduced by Senators Dick Durbin and Patrick Leahy, and in a tit for tat, Presiden Rodrigo Duterte barred the two US lawmakers’ entry to the Philippines.

De Lima also said the people behind her detention never understood that they should not have acted as the complainant, investigator, prosecutor, judge, jury and executioner in the cases against her.


She vowed not to make the same mistakes they did. She also said she would seriously pursue vindication for the wrongs done to her.

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