Press Release
May 29, 2018

Dispatch from Crame No. 315:
Sen. Leila M. de Lima's statement on "Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender" Award given by Amnesty International in its 2018 Ignite Awards for Human Rights


I am deeply humbled to learn that Amnesty International has chosen me for its first Ignite Awards for Human Rights as the "Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender."

It is with great honor to receive this latest accolade as recognition for my unwavering stance on human rights despite my continued unjust detention and political persecution. I view this as another vindication from all the trumped-up charges that have been fabricated by the Duterte regime not just to destroy my person and integrity as a staunch critic of the government's bloody war on drugs, but also, and more importantly, to divert attention away from the truth about the extrajudicial killings and official abuse that are, to this day, being committed with impunity.

I thank Amnesty International, its Philippine Section, and its other country offices for their steadfast resolve to promote and protect human rights, especially during these times of silencing dissent and increasing attacks against human rights and its defenders. The work that you do serves as the light that not only allows the truth to shine through, but also serves as an inspiration for us, individual human rights defenders, and ignites the fervor of our people for justice under the rule of law.

Our shared goals and cooperation only prove that no tyrant can stop us. No matter how influential and powerful those who violate our dignity and human rights are, our strong will and determination will always prevail; truth and justice will always succeed.

I dedicate this award to all human rights defenders, who tirelessly fight for the dignity of, and respect for the Filipino. I look forward to further working with the Amnesty International and like-minded groups and individuals in promoting and advancing our causes for human rights, democracy and rule of law.

Our common calling in these trying times is to serve as the bright light of hope that keeps the darkness brought by apathy and ruthless self-interest at bay. Therefore, together, may we ignite a firestorm in the hearts and minds of more and more people, that tyranny may never again find a foothold in society.

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