De Lima lauds Ressa, Hong Kong pro-democracy movement et al. for Nobel Peace Prize Nomination


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Opposition Senator Leila M. de Lima has congratulated Maria Ressa and two other media organizations for their nominations for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize.

De Lima, a social justice and human rights champion, said Reporters Without Borders (RWB), Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and Maria Ressa’s nominations reflect the commitment of democratic organizations and nations of the world to defend free press, to protect our journalists, and to safeguard the truth.

“The nominations of RWB, CPJ and Maria Ressa are not only well deserved for their important role and valiant sacrifices to defend press freedom, protect journalists and represent fearless journalism, but also attest to the fact that, indeed, the world is watching and taking an action,” she said in her Dispatch from Crame No. 1028.

“I wish Maria Ressa, Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders the best, and again extend to them my sincerest congratulations,” she added.

It was Jonas Gahre Støre, a Norwegian labor leader and parliamentary representative, who nominated Ressa and the two media groups for the award.

De Lima said journalists play a very crucial role in bringing factual and responsible news, most especially now in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of illiberal and strong-arm politics.

“It is the journalists who tell the story of the poor and marginalized and the first to report the suffering of victims of injustice in times of government’s abuse of power or deliberate lack of action,” she said.

“They are the constant chroniclers of peoples’ issues and social realities. That is why now more than ever, journalists and free and independent media must be protected against corrupt power-holders and enemies of truth and democracy,” she added.

Likewise, De Lima also extended her congratulations to Hongkong pro-democracy movement Nobel nominees including Joshua Wong, Agnes Chow & Ivan Lam for their nominations for the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize award.

In her Dispatch from Crame No. 1029, De Lima said the nomination of Wong, Chow and Lam is “a fitting recognition of the immeasurable courage of a people united in defense of civil rights and liberties.”

“In the continuing struggle for a just and humane society for all, the people of Hong Kong has inspired movements worldwide and taught tyrants to be wary,” she said.

“And wary they should be, for across the world there is a mounting discontent and a burning outrage against tyrannical governments, especially amid the global health crisis. For those who were besieged with injustice, there is now a common battle cry: ‘we are going to pull a Hong Kong!’” she added.

Wong, Chow and Lam, for their part, were nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by members of the United States Congress.

De Lima, who will mark her 4th year in unjust detention on Feb. 24, likened her situation to the three freedom fighters who have been jailed for speaking up against an oppressive regime.

“We have a shared conviction that no prison walls can silence us as we continue to fight for our people’s freedoms and dignity,” she said.

“Indeed, as you and your fellow youth bravely demonstrated on the streets of Hong Kong, despite the excessive and unnecessary force deployed against you, we will prevail over this vicious persecution,” she added.

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