Despite being criticized by some of her fellow Filipinos for taking a stand against extrajudicial killings, Senator Leila de Lima received an award from Foreign Policy, a well-known international political magazine, for her role in opposing President Rodrigo Duterte’s questionable and controversial war on drugs.
The current senator and former secretary of justice was included in the 100 Foreign Policy Global Thinkers in Washington D.C. last Monday.
Organizers said they selected honorees who could step in to defend against the suffering of others, especially in today's world, where populist ideals are being twisted to suit the needs of the oligarchy.
De Lima was included in the "Challengers" category and was honored as a global thinker for "standing up to an extremist leader" whose war against drugs has killed already claimed the lives of thousands, including innocent children.
"I'd like to think it's because of my stance against the extra judicial killings and other policies ng ating kasalukuyang administrasyon (of our current administration)," De Lima said.
She raised her concern that the state of human rights in the Philippines will not get better anytime soon.
"Napaka-deplorable po ng sitwasyon natin sa Pilipinas, hinggil sa usapin ng karapatang pantao," she said. "Walang katapusan, araw-araw na pinapatay in the name of the war on drugs... Talaga pong tinutukan natin from day 1."
"Bihirang-bihira naman tayo nakakita ng mga pinapatay nila na mga high profile drug lords so napaka-questionable talaga," she added, referring to the majority of EJK victims being part of the marginalized sector.
De Lima said the ongoing extrajudicial killings in the Philippines will not stop if no one will stand against it.
De Lima is not the only Filipino personality recognized by the magazine. Another honoree on the Challengers category is transgender lawmaker Geraldine Roman, who was awarded for redefining fitness to govern in a predominantly Catholic country. Unfortunately, Roman was not able to make it to the awarding ceremonies.
Other awardees include outgoing U.N. Secretary-general Ban Ki-Moon "for outrunning Donald Trump to save the planet," Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau "for designing a humane refugee policy," and former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton "for going high when others go low" during the 2016 US election cycle.
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