The Philippine Center for Investigative Journalism (PCIJ) and Br. Armin Luistro, FSC were today announced as the recipients of Amnesty International Philippines Ignite Awards for Human Rights Season 2 Most Distinguished Human Rights Defenders for organization and individual categories respectively. Together with them are recipients of the Young Outstanding Human Rights Defender, Lorenzo Miguel Relente, and Art that Matters for Literature, Michael David Tan.
Ignite Awards for Human Rights is given to Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) to recognize the impact their work bring in changing peoples’ lives through mobilization, activism, rights-based policy advocacy and art.
Ignite Awards for Human Rights is given to Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) to recognize the impact their work bring in changing peoples’ lives through mobilization, activism, rights-based policy advocacy and art. First of its kind, it is Amnesty International Philippines’ top honor given to human rights defenders in the country.
“This season’s recipients come from varying human rights backgrounds, from press freedom and right to education to gender equality and SOGIESC rights, but they share one dedication, that is to fight for basic rights of Filipinos. They truly ignite the human rights cause, speaking up against injustices and exposing inequalities on behalf of those who, otherwise, will not be heard,” said Butch Olano, Amnesty International Philippines Section Director.
The nominations for Ignite Awards Season 2 was opened a year ago on the same day the winners were announced this year, May 28 is Amnesty International’s 59th anniversary. It took the organization a year to finalize the nominations and vetting process together with its Selection Committee and Board of Judges chaired by Atty. Chel Diokno.
“Amnesty International Philippines strongly believes that our individual and collective power as a people working towards transforming and uplifting each other should be given due recognition and appreciation despite the political turmoil the country has been experiencing for a few years now. It is necessary to shine a spotlight on those individuals who continue to pave the way for collective action. It is especially difficult now for human rights prime movers to take action amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We note that we are in extraordinary times but the same human rights defenders are speaking out against repression during this crisis,” added Olano.
It is especially difficult now for human rights prime movers to take action amid the COVID-19 pandemic. We note that we are in extraordinary times but the same human rights defenders are speaking out against repression during this crisis.Butch Olano, Section Director
Amnesty International Philippines celebrates the spirit of activism and exceptional courage the Ignite Awards recipients continue to show while faced with an unprecedented public health emergency. The organization emphasizes that taking action to safeguard human rights has become more important especially now more than ever.
“When people lead in taking a stand for human rights especially in difficult situations, it emboldens many others in their struggles against injustice. Our Ignite Awardees’ commitment is all the more remarkable because of the alarming levels of repression and inequality that ordinary people are experiencing amid this pandemic. Throughout and certainly beyond the immediate crisis, these human rights defenders will continue to stand up on behalf of the most vulnerable in our society. Together, we will call on the government to ensure access to universal healthcare, housing and social security needed to survive the health and economic impacts of Covid-19, while ensuring that extraordinary restrictions on basic freedoms do not become the new normal,” Olano said.
Ignite Awards for Human Rights awarding ceremony was postponed this season but the recipients will still receive an Ignite Awards for Human Rights trophy sculpture by Ifugao artist Santos Bayucca, plaque of recognition, online HRE webinars, a feature on the campAIgn News Magazine and a promotional video.
Other finalists for Season 2, who will also receive a plaque of recognition, are:
Nominees for Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender (Individual):
Fe Sumilang Abarcar—De Los Reyes
Nominee for Most Distinguished Human Rights Defender (Organization):
Union of Peoples Lawyers in Mindanao
Nominees for Outstanding Young Human Rights Defender:
Bryan Ezra Gonzales
Joshua Ofiasa Villalobos
Nominee for Art that Matters for Literature:
Sheenalei Briana Rayos