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De Lima dismayed with Otso Diretso poll defeat: It’s our loss

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Detained Senator Leila de Lima is disappointed that not a single Otso Diretso senatorial candidate won a seat in the recent midterm elections.

“It is our loss,” De Lima said as the partial and official tally showed that no opposition candidate joined the Magic 12 winning circle. “I have been asked how I feel witnessing the results of the May 2019 Senatorial poll unfold,” she said.

“By now, the results are clear: not a single opposition senatorial aspirant made it to the top 12,” the opposition senator said.

The Otso Diretso members include Sen. Bam Aquino, Rep. Gary Alejano, human rights lawyer Chel Diokno, civic leader Sam Gutoc, former solicitor general Florin Hilbay, election lawyer Romy Macalintal, former senator Mar Roxas and ex-Rep. Erin Tanada.

In their respective statements last May 14, Macalintal, Hilbay, Gutoc, and Tanada already conceded defeat but they promised to continue fighting for the future of the country and its people even after the end of elections.

“We had a chance to elect brave, competent, independent-minded and compassionate people, who understood and were committed to the true meaning of ‘public service,’ but we, as a nation, turned their offer down,” De Lima said.

“I thought, surely the Filipinos knew better. The confusion I felt eventually gave way to a deep and acute sense of disappointment,” she said.

She added, “That, too, is a confusing feeling because it is hard to fathom who I am disappointed with. Definitely not the members of the opposition slate.”

De Lima said the Otso Diretso “offered themselves up to serve the interests of the Filipino people – above all and with no reservations.”

“To me and the millions who voted for Otso Diretso, it seemed like an obvious choice, but apparently not,” the senator from Bicol said.

De Lima was detained at the Philippine National Police Custodial Center since February 2017 on drug charges.