Gordon seeks Senate’s conferment of honor for Ressa on her Nobel award
Senator Richard J. Gordon today sought the Senate’s conferment of highest award to Filipino journalist Maria Angelita Ressa for bagging this year’s Nobel Peace Prize in championing the right to freedom of expression.
In Senate Resolution 925 he filed, Gordon said the Senate recognizes Ressa for her historic feat as the first Filipino to receive the prestigious award in recognition for her courageous effort to champion the freedom of expression and of the press.
Her international award is also in recognition for her “undaunted efforts to enlighten the Filipino people and the world on the truths about the Philippines that are consciously distorted,” the resolution added.
“The Nobel Peace Prize is the most coveted award that is granted annually to a meticulously selected individual who shall have ‘conferred the greatest benefit on mankind’during the preceding year,” Gordon said.
“This historic feat is a first for an individual Filipino nominee since the first Nobel Prize was awarded in 1901 and a first for journalists since the Nobel Peace Prize of 1935,” he added.
Last Oct. 8, the Norwegian Nobel Committee has awarded Ressa with the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize for her “courageous efforts to safeguard the freedom of expression in the Philippines.”
The Committee, Gordon noted, described Ressa as a fearless defender of the freedom of expression and a representative of all journalists who stand up for this ideal in a world where democracy and freedom of the press face increasingly adverse conditions.”
“The international recognition accorded to Maria Angelita Ressa serves both as an inspiration to journalists and a beacon of hope to ordinary citizens, that amidst the floods of misinformation and a conscious effort to mislead, the truth will always emerge by the hands of bold and undaunted members of the society,” he pointed out.
Ressa, who heads the news website Rappler, has earned the ire of the Duterte administration through its critical coverage of the government’s policies, notably its all-out “war on drugs” that drew international infamy.
She has also focused on combating the manufacture and spread of disinformation and fake news on social media, a disease that has engulfed millions of users among Filipinos here and abroad.
“Despite the constant challenges posed against her liberty and integrity as a journalist, she was steadfast in her professional commitment to demand transparency and accountability from public servants,” Gordon noted.
Gordon, who is currently leading the Senate investigation into the alleged anomalous government procurement deals of medical supplies and equipment meant for the country’s COVID-19 response.
Since the start of the Senate inquiry, Gordon is a favourite object of attacks and ridicule by Mr. Duterte and his minions, including his paid trolls who maliciously manufacture and spread disinformation adn fake news across various online platforms.