De Lima cited as ‘flag-bearer’ of human rights in PHL

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Senator Leila M. de Lima has been cited as one of the leading “Power Women of Southeast Asia” by foreign news website Asian Correspondent (AC) for her unwavering commitment to promote justice and human rights.

In its article entitled “The Power Women of Southeast Asia,” the Asian Correspondent included De Lima in the roster of five women leaders who continue to inspire people by fighting for their causes and making a difference.

“(Senator) Leila de Lima, the ‘flag-bearer’ for human rights in the Philippines and beyond, now sits behind bars over charges that she claims are politically motivated,” the Asian Correspondent wrote.

The Asian Correspondent, who tagged De Lima as “a fierce critic” of Duterte’s war on drugs,” also recognized some of the notable awards and recognitions under the Senator’s belt as a politically-persecuted lawmaker.

The recognitions the news website listed were De Lima’s inclusion in Foreign Policy’s Global Thinkers of 2016, her prestigious “Prize for Freedom” Award by Liberal International (LI) announced last October, and her recognition as one of the notable Women Human Rights Defenders Under Threat for 2017 by Amnesty International.

The other women listed under “The Power Women of Southeast Asia” include Myanmar leader Aung San Suu Kyi, Indonesia’s Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Cambodian rights activist Mu Sochua, and Singapore’s Leader of the House Grace Fu.

“There are on average only 30 women per every 100 men in leadership positions…Which is what makes the women on our list stand out – it’s a challenging world out there for Asean women in politics, who face hard choices about marriage, motherhood, and employment to get to the top. Yet, the trailblazers of the region give us hope that it can be done,” said the Asian Correspondent.

In an article published last Jan. 26, De Lima also topped Asian Correspondent’s list of five prominent Southeast Asian leaders and human rights defenders who are facing charges for defying the norm.

Entitled “Democracy behind bars: A look at the cases of 5 jailed Asean leaders,” Asian Correspondent cited five politically-persecuted leaders from the Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cambodia and Thailand.

A staunch defender of women’s rights and gender equality, De Lima has already authored and co-authored several bills and resolutions advocating women’s rights including Senate Bill No. 1438 focusing on the protection of women in state custody and Senate Resolution No. 670 calling for a Senate inquiry into the implementation of the GAD plans and programs under the present administration.

The Senator from Bicol also continues to gain support from the international and local communities that continue to demand for her immediate release from detention.

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