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Mario Bautista, has been with the entertainment industry for more than 4 decades. He writes regular columns for People's Journal and Malaya.

Apr 13, 2016

Senatoriable Leila De Lima Likes Both Nora And Vilma But Prefers Dawn Zulueta Or Eugene Domingo To Play Her On Screen

JUSTICE SEC. LEILA M. DE LIMA is so pleased that she ranks number 5 to 7 in the surveys for senatoriables. “For a neophyte like me, that’s very heartwarming,” she says.
Does she watch local films? “Yes, ang mga huli kong napanood, ‘Heneral Luna’ and ‘Everything About Her’.”

Who are her favorite stars? “Sa Hollywood, Meryl Streep since I saw her in ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’. Then Mel Gibson and Kevin Costner in ‘Untouchables’. Sa local, I like both Vilma Santos and Nora Aunor. Sa lalake, Robin Padilla and Cesar Montano.”

Has she asked Ate Guy, who also hails from Iriga City like her, to endorse her? “Nagkausap kami months ago pa. I’m positive na she’s supporting me. Actually, nababanggit ko nga siya sa kampanya. I say, kababayan ko po si Nora Aunor, pareho kaming Iriguena, kaya mahilig din akong kumanta. Pero kapag pinakanta nila ko, I tell them, sinabi ko po, mahilig ako, hindi magaling kumanta.”

But when she was pressed to sing by the press people interviewing her, she obliged and sang some lines from “I Will Survive”. If her life would be filmed, who’d she like to play her? “If they’d show my funnier side, I like Eugene Domingo. Pero kung gagawing love story, si Dawn Zulueta, para si Richard Gomez ang leading man ko.”

She says her love story is “masalimuot (complicated)”. She admits her marriage has been annulled. “And I’m not proud of that.” Will she remarry? “No, pinangako ko na sa sarili ko, never again. I have two sons. The eldest is 33, a special child kasi autistic siya. The younger one is 27 and has two kids na rin so I have two apos. I also have 13 dogs. Sila ang stress-buster ko. Four of them sleep in my room.”

Why did she choose to run as senator? “Kasi my being justice secretary ends in June. Limited na ang options ko. I can go back to private practice or try the Supreme Court, but hindi bagay sa akin yun kasi it’s a cloistered life. I want yung mas exposed ako, diretso sa tao, so why not try legislative work as a senator where I can help institute new legislation?”

Sec. de Lima says she’s a true blue provinciana who loves to cook laing and bicol express. “I grew up in Iriga and studied there up to high school at La Consolacion where I was class valedictorian. Naluwas lang ako ng Manila when I went to college. I finished law at San Beda in 1985 as salutatorian.”

Why does she think she’s rating well in the surveys? “I had a good track record as Human Rights Commission Chair and later, as Justice Secretary. Alam ng tao, palaban ako. Ni-raid ko ang Bilibid dahil sa prisoners na nagbubuhay mayaman doon. I pursued the pork barrel PDAF cases against corrupt politicians and I was the one who stood my ground and prevented ex-Pres. Arroyo from leaving then sa airport. I think tumatak sa mga tao lahat ng yun.”