The year 2017 has been the most extraordinary year for Sen. Leila de Lima.
Despite the growing isolation against her, De Lima said she continued to gain recognitions ad accolades from various international groups and organizations.
For this year alone, the senator received at least five recognitions, the most received of which was her being named for the second consecutive year by the US-based Foreign Policy magazine as one of the Leading Global Thinkers for 2017.
Earlier, she was named as one of the 100 Most Influential People by Time Magazine, one of the Icons for 2017, one of the notable Women “Human Rights Defenders Under Threat in 2017 by Amnesty International and was also awarded by Liberal International with the Prize for Freedom award.
But more than the awards and recognitions, De Lima said she was thankful that the months spent insider her detention made her appreciate the simple things in life.
The senator said her love for the Filipino people and level of appreciation for family have grown tremendously.
“This year, I learned that being deprived of your physical liberty is never a hindrance to fight for what is right and just, but a reminder to continue living a life of purpose by promoting freedom and seeking for justice, especially for the thousands killed in the war on drugs,” she said.
A staunch critic of the administration’s war on drugs, it was on February 24 when De Lima voluntarily surrendered to the arresting authorities over alleged fabricated drug charges which she claimed were only meant to silence her.