NEW YORK, New York (The Adobo Chronicles, Washington Bureau) – TIME Magazine has announced its pick for 2016 Person of the Year, and it is a woman. And no, it’s not Hillary Clinton.
The magazine’s editor chose Philippines Senator Leila De Lima.
The neophyte senator was Justice Secretary during the administration of President NoyNoy Aquino. She has consistently grabbed the news headlines since she assumed her elective position, not because of bills she has passed but because of the huge controversy she has been involved in.
De Lima has been implicated in the alleged illegal drug trade inside the country’s national penitentiary (New Bilibid Prison). In hearing after hearing, her name was mentioned as having benefited from drug money collected from drug lords, supposedly to fund her senatorial campaign.
She has categorically denied the allegations.
The TIME editors chose her because of her staying power. She has rejected calls for her to resign. Instead, she has actively participated in Senate hearings not only to investigate the illegal drug trade at NBP, but also the extra-judicial killings (EJK) that have marked President Rodrigo Duterte’s war on drugs.
At one point, she was stripped of the chairmanship of the Senate committee investigating the EJKs. Then when witness after witness implicated her, she courageously took on the role as prosecutor and at the same time defense attorney for herself.
The editors said, “She held her head up high in the midst of allegations she had a sex video tape with her former driver, bodyguard and lover.” She denied the existence of the video but admitted to having a romantic relationship with her driver who was named as the “bagman” for drug money she allegedly received from the drug lords.
The editors also noted that despite her admission of “frailty” in connection with her romantic relationship, she stood strong and defiant, walking out of the hearings, holding daily press conferences and directly confronting her accusears, including her ex-lover. “She even maintained her high fashion sense with her signature neck scarves,” they added.
“We could not think of any other person — man or woman — who has the kind of stamina that De Lima has displayed,” the editors said.
Speaking of stamina, the editors said that Hillary Clinton was the other person TIME was considering for the annual honor, but Clinton’s record for stamina (during the Benghazi hearings) only lasted for hours. In contrast, De Lima’s stamina lasted for months.
And she still keeps on going and going…