PH rights advocates only being recognized abroad a ‘pathetic irony’
Albay Rep. Edcel Lagman called it a “pathetic irony” that human rights advocates are disparaged in their own country while they are recognized internationally.
Lagman was referring to the case of detained Senator Leila de Lima who was recently awarded by the Liberal International (LI) the Prize for Freedom, said to be the “highest human rights honor.”
“It is a pathetic irony that while freedom fighters and human rights advocates are depreciated by the present leadership in their own country, they are greatly appreciated elsewhere in the world,” Lagman said in a statement.
“This is the case of Sen. Leila de Lima who recently won the international Price for Freedom Award even as she languishes in prison for fabricated and politically motivated charges,” he said.
More than a hundred politicians from 32 countries voted to award the Prize for Freedom to De Lima, whom they described as a “political prisoner” at the LI’s 199th Executive Committee meeting in Johannesburg, South Africa this week.
De Lima, one of President Duterte’s most vocal critics, had been detained at the Philippine National Police (PNP)’s Custodial Center after she was accused of benefitting from the illegal drug business in the New Bilibid Prison (NBP) when she was still the Justice Secretary.
The former Human Rights commissioner was also a staunch critic of Duterte’s drug war which killed thousands of suspected drug users. /je