Senator proposes automatic conferment of highest Senate award to Ressa

Published October 12, 2021, 11:13 AM

by Hannah Torregoza 

Senator Risa Hontiveros has filed a resolution urging the Senate to recognize veteran journalist Maria Ressa’s Nobel Peace Prize as mandated under Senate Adopted Resolution No. 110.

The said Senate Resolution No. 110 states that recipients of a Nobel Peace Prize are to automatically receive a Senate Medal of Excellence.

Hontiveros’ proposed Senate Resolution No. 927, was signed by fellow members of the Senate Minority bloc led by Senator Franklin Drilon, Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan and Leila de Lima.

“Conferring the Senate Medal of Excellence on Maria Ressa is mandatory and procedural. It’s not up for vote or debate.” Hontiveros said.

“Whatever side you look at it from, Maria Ressa’s feat is important for our country and all freedom-loving nations. We have a duty at the Senate to uplift and acknowledge our fellow Filipinos when we make our mark in the world,” the senator stressed.

She said ignoring Ressa’s accomplishment would also be damaging to women’s important role in Philippine history.

“Maria Ressa is the first ever Filipino Nobel Peace Prize winner. To purposely ignore this achievement would be to wash away an amazing victory of a Filipina from our history books,” Hontiveros said.

“This is a chance for the Senate as an institution to show that it remains true to its values of free speech and genuine democracy,” she said.

“I urge the Senate to give Maria Ressa the recognition she is due so that we may inspire Filipinos to continue to be brave. Filipinos are many things, and now we also have a Nobel Peace Prize awardee. This is a Pinoy Pride moment. May there continue to be many others,” the lawmaker reiterated.

Drilon earlier said the Senate Medal of Excellence should be automatic for Nobel laureates. Senate Majority Leader Juan Miguel “Migz” Zubiri, however, said that the last clause of Senate Resolution No 110 indicates that senators should vote unanimously to confer the Senate Medal of Excellence on a particular recipient.

Sen. Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, on Monday, however, said he believes it was wrong for Ressa to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize arguing that there is no curtailment of press freedom happening in the Philippines.