Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima commended Ana Patricia “Patreng” Non for being recognized by the US Embassy for her community pantry movement.
De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, also thanked Non for inspiring her and the entire country to help those in need, especially the marginalized.
“I am so proud and happy to learn of yet another award given to you. Woman of Courage – what a fitting recognition! Talagang patuloy na kinikilala at nagsisilbing inspirasyon ng mundo ang iyong pagmamahal sa kapwa at bayan,” she said in a handwritten letter addressed to Non.
“Thank you for the inspiration. Karangalan ko na makasama ka sa pagpapatuloy ng ating laban para sa hustisyang panlipunan,” she added.
Non, who sparked the nationwide movement to set up community pantries at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2021, was conferred with the Ambassador’s Woman of Courage Award by Chargé d’Affaires Heather Variava.
In conferring the award to Non, Variaya said in a statement posted on Twitter that “empowered and courageous women can change the world for the better.”
“I presented the Ambassador’s Woman of Courage Award to Ana Patricia Non for her community pantry initiative that inspired Filipinos to combine resources and help one another during the COVID-19 pandemic,” Variaya added.
Honored to receive the award, Non said on her Facebook post: “Maraming salamat po sa U.S. Embassy in the Philippines sa pag-recognize ng Community Pantry at sa mga matatapang na kababaihan na nagtataguyod nito. Malaking bagay po ito sa aming mga organizers. Yakap po!”
The lady Senator from Bicol said she hopes to meet Non, in person, when her time of freedom and vindication comes.
“Ingat ka lagi. Magkikita pa tayo, hopefully, kapag tuluyan na akong nakalaya,” said De Lima.
“Ipinagdarasal ko ang mga tulad mo, Patreng. Kinakatawan mo ang mabubuting katangian ng Pilipino, na sa kabila ng mga limitasyon, ng mga banta at paninira, ng mabibigat na hamon, iniisip at inuuna mo pa rin kung paano makatutulong at mapabubuti ang kapakanan ng kapwa. Muli, maraming salamat sa iyong bukal sa pusong pagmamalasakit at pagbubukas-palad,” she added.
Non supported De Lima’s fight for justice and was among those who called for her release from unjust detention.
In a Facebook post last May, Non said that “Nakakulong man po si Sen. Leila de Lima hindi po nakukulong ang katotohanan.” (30)