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De Lima receives ‘Prize for Freedom’ award

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By Hannah Torregoza

Senator Leila de Lima on Wednesday said she is elated and humbled to be conferred the prestigious “Prize for Freedom” Award by the Liberal International (LI) in recognition for her outstanding efforts in defense of freedom and human rights.

De Lima, who is currently detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center over drug charges, said she is greatly humbled and grateful to LI for recognizing her unrelenting fight for human rights, justice and the rule of law.

Sen. Leila de Lima (PRIB Photo by Alex Nuevaespaña/2 August 2016/Manila Bulletin)

Sen. Leila de Lima (PRIB Photo by Alex Nuevaespaña/ /Manila Bulletin File Photo)

LI, the third international organization that sent representatives to visit De Lima in detention, previously denounced her arrest “as politically motivated.”

“I am humbled and honored to be chosen as the recipient of this prestigious Human Rights Prize, which was also bestowed to former President and democracy icon Corazon Aquino,” De Lima said in a statement.

“More than a recognition, I regard this award as an inspiration that strengthens my resolve to continue opposing this murderous regime, its outright disregard for human rights and trampling of human dignity to my last breath, especially because I am not alone in my fight,” she stressed.

During its 199th Executive Committee meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa, this week, the LI announced it was conferring the Prize for Freedom – the global federations’ highest human rights honor — to the senator.

LI said the award is given to “a well-known personality of liberal conviction who has made outstanding efforts for the defense of freedom and human rights.”

Other recipients of the prestigious award include the imprisoned Saudi liberal blogger Raif Badawi (2016), Helen Suzman (2002), and Martin Lee (1996). It was first awarded in 1986.

More than 100 liberals from 32 countries participated in LI’s 199th Executive Committee meeting.

In an official statement, Markus Löning, Chairman of LI’s Human Rights Committee who visited and met with the senator last July, cited De Lima as the “perfect embodiment of a leader who fights for what is right despite political oppression.”

“Leila De Lima has been a flag-bearer for human rights in the Philippines and beyond, setting a shining example for other human rights defenders. Even from inside the prison she keeps fighting for the rule of law and the dignity of individuals. She should immediately be released from pre-trial detention,” Löning said.

According to LI, De Lima will be the second Filipino to accept the Human Rights Prize, after then President Corazon Aquino in 1987, who was recognized “for her world-renowned advocacy of democracy, peace, and the empowerment of women.”

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  • Avery23

    Liberal International? Liberal Party? LOLZ!

  • curatolo

    DeLima should be given a prize of” Queen of Narco-Politician”and a drug pusher and drug lord protector.

    • Leonilo Salvana

      Tama ka

  • Ramco Marktrosov

    Senator De Lima still shines in the dark. Congratulations ! Free senator De Lima ! ……..f#$*k! Dutertards !!

  • Concern

    WHTAT ! She is not worthed to received that award ! DE LIMA is the QUEEN OF THE NARCO POLITICIAN esp. in the BILIBID PRISON, the DANCING QUEEN of all the drug lords!

  • jern dion

    News break: Saba Queen Delima receives PDP-Laban “Death Penalty” award.

  • Allen Lopez

    WELL DESERVED!!! CONGRATULATIONS!!

  • Emilio

    senator trillanes only won because of pure luck. he does not have the right attitude and credibility to win an election. he is only making noise every time without any real sense in how to help the country grow and the people to be comfortable. he is only after his political ambition at all times

    • Parasa Bayan

      this so called senator does not know how to be a senator. all he does is make noise and press release. he does not know the true work of senator and instead only want political considerations given to him. he speaks out against the government but he himself does not know how to run anything. .//

    • maka pili

      we cannot trust this senator for our country’s future. he is only after his personal ambition and has no clear policy to know what is good for our country. we cannot expect a soldier who disobeys his superiors to be a good leader. he does not know how to follow and he cannot be trusted/..

    • sam nicolas

      noise making is the only talent of this senator. he is known to make noise and to create trouble then he will abandon everything at the end. we cannot trust a man with this reputation. he is never a good leader and will never be in the future of philippine politics…//

    • myca delos santos

      the country will not benefit from this senator. he is only making noise as he knows from the last election that he will not win anymore and get elected. he has been making baseless allegations on the president and is making noise so that the people will notice him. he doesnt deserve our attention. .,/

  • Emilio

    senator trillanes is always grandstanding and will do everything to make him in the news. he is only making noise so the people will always remember him. he has not proven anything and yet he has the guts to speak out against the administration. he has not proven his capability to serve and his capability to be a leader
    .,,

    • Parasa Bayan

      this former rebel soldier cannot be trusted. he turned his back on his superiors when he conducted his siege last time. he cannot lead a group of soldiers what more of the entire country. he does not know anything on how to handle and solve the problems of our country. he is just making noise.

    • maka pili

      this senator is not a good example to our country. he makes baseless accusations and would dare the president to resign for no valid reason. the country will not loose anything if he resigns from the senate but the country will suffer a lot if our president resigns. he is only making noise now as he knows that the entire country fully supports the president and this government.

    • sam nicolas

      this senator does not respect our country as he is always showing his opposition to anything. he has turned against his former commander in chief and he is now doing the same to our president. he is only after his personal ambition and he just wants to make noise if he cant get what he wants.

    • myca delos santos

      this senator is proven to be a coward and who has no clear principles. he changes his agenda an is only after his self interest. he is a former soldier who does not have the right discipline to follow his superiors. we cannot expect good things from this senator only noise.