Former senator and staunch Duterte critic Leila De Lima walks out of the Muntinlupa Hall of Justice after being allowed to post bail. Jose Santos/PressOnePH

Former senator Leila De Lima finally stepped out of jail after more than six years of being detained, after her petition for bail was granted by a Muntinlupa court.

In her first press conference after release, De Lima said her 2,454 days of detention only made her stronger.

“It is one of my greatest achievements of my career and in my life to say that not only did I survive — All these years of persecution, I came out stronger than ever,” De Lima said. “With an even stronger commitment to truth, justice, human rights, democracy, and rule of law.”

The former opposition senator also said she never regretted her fight against human rights violations and injustices.

“What I did, how I reacted, and my reason for fighting for those who were victimized and cannot speak for themselves — I have no regret,” she said.

De Lima also said she would remain on the side of the opposition.

“The advocacy I was fighting for did not come to an end while I was in jail.… and now that I’m free, I’m going to work harder for those advocacies.”

Despite being in jail, De Lima was able to file hundreds of bills and resolutions, four of which were passed into law, including the Magna Carta of the Poor and Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps).

De Lima was sent to jail in February 2017 due to drug charges that she said were fabricated because of her extensive investigation of former President Rodrigo Duterte’s brutal war on drugs and his alleged involvement with the so-called Davao Death Squad. – Roselyn Dapiton