Minority senators congratulate De Lima for global awards

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Minority senators have commended Senator Leila M. de Lima for her latest global awards accorded to her by prestigious organizations in recognition of her continued fight for human rights and the rule of law.

They filed Senate Resolution No. 574 congratulating and commending De Lima for her inclusion in Foreign Policy’s “50 Leading Global Thinkers of 2017” and for bagging Liberal International’s prestigious “Prize for Freedom.”

“Senator De Lima has been paving the path for laudable advocacies and campaigns to end gross violations of human rights, including the massive extrajudicial killings related to the administration’s war on drugs,” they said.

The resolution was signed by Senate Minority Leader Franklin M. Drilon, Senators Francis Pangilinan, Antonio Trillanes IV, Bam Aquino and Risa Hontiveros.

They also acknowledged De Lima for her efforts to uphold the rights and dignity of the Filipino people despite the growing repression and isolation against her even while in detention for obviously trumped-up illegal drug trade charges filed by the government.

“Due recognition of Senator De Lima’s achievements is in order as she continues to embody the Filipino’s admirable resiliency and strength of character and spirit despite the continued vilification and personal attacks to silence her,” they said.

Last Dec. 4, De Lima was awarded again as one of the leading Global Thinkers for 2017 by the influential US-based Foreign Policy magazine for openly defying President Duterte and his brutal war on drugs and paying the price with her freedom.

In 2016, Foreign Policy had named De Lima on its roster of leading Global Thinkers for her vocal opposition to the unabated spate of extrajudicial and summary killings in the country under the Duterte administration’s all-out war on drugs.

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’s colleagues also congratulated her for her “Prize for Freedom” Award for 2018 to be conferred by Liberal International (LI). She is the second Filipino named for the award after then President Corazon Aquino who was honoured “for her world-renowned advocacy of democracy, peace, and the empowerment of women” in 1987.

Other recipients of the prestigious award which is usually given to “a well-known personality of liberal conviction who has made outstanding efforts for the defence of freedom and human rights” include the imprisoned Saudi liberal blogger Raif Badawi (2016), Helen Suzman (2002), and Martin Lee (1996).

The LI has earlier announced it is conferring the “Prize for Freedom” – the global federations’ highest human rights honor — to De Lima during its 199th Executive Committee meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa in October next year.

A staunch critic of the administration’s war on drugs, De Lima has since been subject of shameful and misogynistic attacks by the President, yet she continues to gain support and recognition from international groups and leaders.

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 Under Threat” in 2017.

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