Senators, HR advocates congratulate De Lima for human rights award

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Minority senators, former colleagues and human rights advocates have commended Senator Leila M. de Lima for her “Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender” recognition accorded to her by Amnesty International (AI) on its first-ever Ignite Awards for Human Rights, the latest of various awards bestowed on her by prestigious organizations.

Posting in their respective social media pages, the known personalities expressed their admiration and congratulations for De Lima who unwaveringly promotes human rights, justice and the rule of law despite her continued unjust detention.

Sen. Bam Aquino said: “My warmest congratulations to @SenLeiladeLima for receiving the distinction of being the ‘Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender’ in the 2018 Ignite for Human Rights Award. In her fight to uphold the rights of every Filipino, she talked truth to power and paid with her freedom.”

Aquino lauded De Lima for tirelessly sharing her voice to defend the rights of the Filipino people even from behind bars, saying, “sa kabila ng mga pagsubok na kanyang kinakaharap, mananatiling matibay na sandalan at tagapagtanggol ng mga Pilipino si @SenLeiladeLima.”

De Lima was named as “Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender” by AI, which announced the awardees for the 1st Ignite Awards for Human Rights last May 28, for her unwavering fight to defend human rights and for opposing the abuses under the government’s bloody war on drugs.

Notably, the Senator from Bicol bested four other nominees for the Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender – Individual Category award, including Sen. Risa Hontiveros, Ryan Silverio, Nymia Pimentel Simbulan and Leni Velasco.

Also extending his warm greetings to the former justice secretary, Sen. Francisco “Kiko” Pangilinan said De Lima deserves the award the same way that she deserves to be freed from her unlawful incarceration by the Duterte administration.

“Nagagalak tayo sa parangal na iginawad kay @SenLeiladeLima bilang most distinguished individual human rights defender mula sa rights watchdog na Amnesty International,” Pangilinan said.

“Ang parangal na ito ay isang mahalagang pagkakataon para sa laban kontra sa mga abuso ng administrasyon, at kasabay nito, isang mensahe ng pag-asa para sa mga biktima ng mga paglabag sa karapatang pantao,” he added,

Sen. Antonio “Sonny” Trilannes IV, on his part, wrote: “Congratulations Sen. Leila for being named as the first ever Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender by the Amnesty International.”

Liberal Party vice president for external affairs Lorenzo “Erin” Reyes Tañada III and human rights advocate-singer Leah Navarro said De Lima’s latest award only proves that she is an “inspiration” to many, including human rights defenders.

As he commended De Lima over her recognition, Rep. Edgar Erice reminded that the Senator is “serving not only humanity but our Lord” by fighting the good fight.

The group #EveryWoman, meanwhile, thanked De Lima for “igniting in all of us the determination to resist tyranny, seek the truth and demand justice.”

“EveryWoman celebrates Amnesty International’s choice of Senator Leila de Lima as the “Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender” for its first Ignite Awards for Human Rights,” read a post on the group’s post.

“Senator Leila, sister and friend, you have shown us how women stand up to threat and intimidation with strength, courage and persistence,” it added.

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.

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