The Liberal International (LI) on Saturday, July 28 awarded opposition senator Leila de Lima the prestigious Prize for Freedom award for her bravery in “speaking truth to power.”
In a statement of LI president Juli Minoves, the injustice on the detention of de Lima will never be forgotten. Minoves also said this is the first time in almost a decade that the Prize for Freedom is being awarded outside of Europe.
“In doing so, we are here to recognize the sacrifice of this remarkable prisoner of conscience,” Minoves said.
The senator’s eldest son Israel Bohol, her siblings Vicente de Lima II and Caroline de Lima, and aunt Lilia de Lima received the award. The Liberal International, which awarded the Prize for Freedom to Senator Leila De Lima, counts among its members in Asia the Liberal Party of the Philippines.
De Lima’s brother read her speech on her behalf: “I am extremely and unconditionally blessed, so much so that there is no room in my heart for regrets or second thoughts. No room for could have, would have or should have. I am where I am because I did the right thing.”
Aside from De Lima’s family, some of her party mates from the Liberal Party were also present on Saturday, including LP president and Senator Francis Pangilinan, Vice President Leni Robredo, and former president Benigno Aquino III.
De Lima, known as one of Duterte’s critics, has been detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP) Custodial Center due to her alleged involvement in the illegal drug trade during her term as the Justice Secretary.
The Palace also rendered their statement on the award conferred to De Lima by saying, “The Liberal International, which awarded the Prize for Freedom to Senator Leila De Lima, counts among its members in Asia the Liberal Party of the Philippines. While we are certain that it is an honor for the lady senator to receive such an award from her party and ideological allies, we believe that the award she received cannot distract our people from the real issue.”