Press Release
August 8, 2016

Zubiri congratulates Olympics silver medalist Hidilyn Diaz

Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri congratulates Hidilyn Diaz from Zamboanga for winning a silver medal that ended a 20 - year drought of an Olympic medal by a Filipino athlete.

"This little lady lifted the weights well. She also lifted the country's pride. No doubt, our athletes were moved by the genuine encouragement from President Duterte's simple advice, ' Give your 100 percent. Just do your best!' "

Diaz scored 200 kg at the 53-kilogram category.

"She now belongs to an elite group of Filipino Olympians. Filipinos again remember the honor & pride when Mansueto Velasco won a silver medal for boxing in the 1996 Summer Olympics 1996 in Atlanta," Zubiri recalls.

Zubiri positively noted that the Philippines sent a limited contingent to Rio De Janeiro on a new strategy of the Philippine Olympic Committee to send athletes for sports with huge potential for a Filipino victory.

"I also extend my congratulations to her coaches, trainers, weightlifting staff and the NSA on weightlifting. It's just days into the Games and we have a medal from the 13-person contingent."

"This medal should push the Philippine Sports Commission to encourage more youth to winning. I hope the athletes will also receive their honorific and cash rewards soon."

"This cash reward prizes have already been encoded by inflation for the past 15 years and so I'll seek amendments to the law. We will move to increase the rewards to further motivate athletes, their families and the sports community. The Philippine government grants cash rewards for athletes and staff for medals won in international competitions under Sports Rewards Act or Republic Act No. 9064 passed in 2001. "The reward cash prizes are sourced from the Philippine Amusements and Gaming Corporation.

Zubiri, himself a World Champion of Arnis, worked for the passage of Republic Act No. 9064 in the 13th Congress while he was in the House of Representatives in collaboration with sportsman Senator Jaworski.

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