By Mario Casayuran
Opposition Senator Paolo Benigno Aquino IV congratulated today his colleague, detained Senator Leila de Lima, for being conferred this year’s prestigious “Prize for Freedom” award by Liberal International for her “exceptional contribution to the advancement of human rights” in the Philippines.
Aquino said de Lima talked truth and paid with her freedom in her fight to uphold the right of every Filipino.
‘’Even from behind bars, she continues to share her voice to defend justice, democracy, and the Filipino people,’’ he said.
De Lima is at present detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) custodial center, Camp Crame, Quezon on drug-related charges which she vehemently denies,
The opposition Liberal Party (LP) also congratulated de Lima for being given such an award this afternoon in Quezon City.
Both Aquino and de Lima are LP members.
De Lima is the second Filipino to receive the award, next to Cory Aquino in 1987.
She joins the roster of awardees that includes former Argentinian President Raul Alfonsin (1985), former Pakistan Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto (1989), Nobel Peace Prize laureate and now State Counsellor of Myanmar Aung San Suu Kyi (1995).
Her son and siblings will receive the award on her behalf. Other notable personalities, including incumbent and former government officials, will be in attendance.
LI is a London-based world federation of liberal and progressive democratic parties whose members are former ambassadors and diplomats, and members of the European Parliament.