Women who ‘stood out:’ De Lima among FT readers’ women of 2019
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Leila de Lima has been named one of the most influential women of 2019 by a London-based business newspaper.
The Financial Times named De Lima among the most influential women of the year from around the world, a list which profiled 16 women who “stood out” in breaking “new ground in 2019” or have “brought attention to some of the most important issues of our time.”
“The Filipino senator remains detained over drugs allegations that she and her supporters say were fabricated,” a description of De Lima on the Financial Times’ Readers’ Women of 2019 read.
“De Lima had led a human rights investigation against Rodrigo Duterte into alleged extrajudicial killings that took place while he was mayor of Davao City,” it added.
“Her handwritten dispatches from her cell are incisive missives and commentary on the issues the Philippines faces,” the description further said.
The senator, a staunch critic of the Duterte administration, has been detained since February 2017 on what she repeatedly called as “trumped-up” charges against her.
Alongside De Lima are climate activist Greta Thunberg, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, US senator and presidential aspirant Elizabeth Warren, US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg, among others.
When she chaired the Commission on Human Rights, De Lima investigated the so-called Davao Death Squad (DDS) linked to the spate of killings in Davao City, where the President was formerly a mayor.
As a senator, she also initiated a Senate probe into the alleged extrajudicial killings in the country which raised global awareness about human rights violations committed against suspected drug offenders.
De Lima had been previously regarded as one of the Leading Global Thinkers for 2016 and 2017 by Foreign Policy magazine, and one of the 100 Most Influential People by Time magazine in 2017, among other titles.
She also became the second Filipino to receive the “Prize from Freedom” award from the Liberal International, the same recognition given to former President Corazon Aquino in 1987.
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