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De Lima wins int’l award for standing up to ‘extremist’ Duterte

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Senator Leila de Lima’s vocal opposition to President Rodrigo Duterte isn’t going unnoticed— even by international bodies.

The influential Foreign Policy magazine has cited De Lima as one of the 100 leading global thinkers for 2016 for her efforts in investigating extrajudicial killings in the Philippines and criticizing Duterte.

De Lima was honored in awarding ceremonies in Washington, D.C. “for standing up to an extremist leader” as one of the 13 global thinkers in the “Challengers” category under the 100 leading global thinkers for this year.

“Since taking office in June, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has waged a brutal war on drugs. Thousands of alleged traffickers, dealers, and users have been executed by state forces or pro-government vigilantes,” the citation read.

“In response, Sen. Leila de Lima has been a steadfast advocate for the rule of law. As the chair of the Senate Committee on Justice and Human Rights, she spearheaded an investigation into the extrajudicial killings—work that landed her firmly in Duterte’s crosshairs,” it added.

The Foreign Policy also took note of De Lima’s doggedness in seeking a deeper probe of the killings under Duterte’s term despite the attacks lodged by his allies against her.

“President Duterte’s loyalists accused de Lima of being involved in the drug trade and ousted her as head of the investigation in September. That didn’t silence her, though. She called on the United Nations to examine the violence, arguing that Manila isn’t equipped ‘to serve complete justice to the victims’,” the citation read.

Joining De Lima as FP’s 100 Leading Global Thinkers for 2016 are individuals and organization are former US State Department Hillary Clinton, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Canada Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, among others.

Apart from De Lima, also honored as “Challengers” were Bataan Rep. Geraldine Roman, French Penitentiary Administration Project Director Geraldine Blin, Women Without Borders Founder Edit Schlaffer, and Zimbabwe Pastor Evan Mawarire.