WASHINGTON, D.C. — Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has expressed elation over the latest conferment by the prestigious US-based Foreign Policy magazine as one of the Leading Global Thinkers of 2017 for two consecutive years.
In her acceptance message read during the reception gala at the Mead Center for American Theater here, De Lima vowed to fight off all attempts to intimidate her as she continues to face all trumped-up illegal drug trading charges filed against her.
“No high concrete walls, barbed wires or caged environment can silence me. I remain free in spirit, and unbroken. I’m not giving up on my causes for truth, justice and human rights,” she said.
De Lima’s brief message was read by Jonathan Tepperman, editor in chief of the Washington-based Foreign Policy magazine, as he announced her inclusion on the list of its 50 Leading Global Thinkers of 2017.
Tepperman expressed concern over what he referred as ludicrous charges the Duterte administration has filed against De Lima just two months after receiving the same award last year.
It may be recalled that in 2016, the Foreign Policy magazine included De Lima on its list of 100 Leading Global Thinkers for her vocal and staunch opposition to the spate of extrajudicial and summary killings in the Philippines. She was honored “for standing up to an extremist leader” as one of the 13 Global Thinkers in the “Challengers” category under the 100 Leading Global Thinkers for 2016.
De Lima, who marks her 284th day in unjust detention at the time of the awarding, noted the latest accolade given to her by an international media organization reminds her to keep up her fight despite the growing repression and isolation against her.
“President Duterte and his minions have not stopped demonizing, slut shaming and persecuting me. State-sponsored extrajudicial killings, fake news and lies continue unabated,” she said.
“As no succor from pliant courts is forthcoming, with our democratic institutions under attack, an opposition that is decimated and dissents crushed, I’m prepared for the long haul,” she added.
In a different statement issued from the Philippine National Policy – Custodial Center, Camp Crame, Quezon City, De Lima said she is profoundly honored by the Foreign Policy’s recognition of her as one of the leading Global Thinkers for two consecutive years.
“I thank them for their continued faith in me for two consecutive years. This latest accolade further bolsters my courage and strengthens my resolve to continue standing up for my principles and causes despite the unprecedented magnitude of harassments against me by the Duterte regime,” she said.
The Senator from Bicol said she offers the FP recognition to her fellow Filipinos and people of goodwill around the world who continue to fight for truth, justice and democracy.
De Lima was also recognized by Time Magazine as one of 100 Most Influential People, one of the Icons, for 2017, and by Amnesty International as one of the notable Women Human Rights Defenders in 2017, and more recently, by Liberal International with the Prize for Freedom award, among others.
Those included on this year’s Foreign Policy’s Leading Global Thinkers of 2017 are individuals from around the world whose actions are disrupting the status quo and impacting countless lives.