SENATORS raced on Tuesday to push resolutions honoring weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz for her historic feat of giving the Philippines its first Olympic gold in 97 years.
Resolutions were filed by Senate President Vicente Sotto III, Majority Leader Juan Miguel Zubiri, Minority Leader
Franklin Drilon, and senators Richard Gordon, Lito Lapid, Francis Tolentino, Sonny Angara and Risa Hontiveros.
Even detained Sen. Leila de Lima expressed great joy at Diaz’s victory, describing it as a much-needed lift to the Filipino spirit in a time of crisis
In resolution number 793, Sotto said Diaz deserves the highest honors as the most accomplished athlete for winning medals in international sporting events — the latest being a gold in the Tokyo Olympics.
In his resolution, Drilon noted that despite the injustice she suffered of being linked in 2019 to so-called destabilization efforts, Diaz remained focused on her goal to bring honor to the country.
As someone who serves as inspiration for her determination and perseverance, Diaz, according to Hontiveros, has cemented her place among the country’s legendary athletes.
Lapid noted that it’s not only her Olympic record that makes the country proud–but a stunning victory against China, the record holder in weightlifting.
Zubiri, Angara and Tolentino filed resolution number 781 to establish a Philippine Senate Medal of Honor for the automatic grant of honors to athletes, scientists, uniformed personnel and all others giving honor to the country and contributing to nation-building.
In a speech, Villanueva said, “Hidilyn inspired all of us, it was an emotional win, it was extra special because it was China trying to steal our first gold. So, Mr. President, it was a great feeling, a great win for all of us.”
Today, we honor a Filipina who persevered and prevailed in her well- chosen battle in life. Her victory is a win for our flag and to the entire Filipino nation.”
In his resolution, Gordon pointed out that “Diaz established a new world record in her weightlifting category lifting a total of two 224 kilograms, consistent with Hidilyn’s history as a Philippine prodigy for having competed in the 2008 Summer Olympics as one of its youngest competitors and as the Filipino epitome of indomitable will, hard work, and dogged determination.”
For Lacson, Diaz deserves to be commissioned as an officer of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).
Lacson suggested on Tuesday to the Philippine Air Force (PAF) leadership that Diaz, a sergeant, be given such a commission, subject to existing laws and AFP regulations.
“As chairman of the Senate Committee on National Defense and Security, I would strongly recommend to the AFP leadership that she be given a rank as a commissioned officer of the PAF. It’s the least the service can give her,” Lacson said in an interview on CNN Philippines.
Other senators who commended Diaz were Sen. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and Sen. President Pro Tempore Ralph G. Recto.
“Mr. President and esteemed colleagues. This afternoon, it is with great pride and honor that I co-sponsor the resolution commending and congratulating our very own Hidilyn Diaz for her triumphant feat in the Women’s 55kg category in weightlifting,” Go, the chairman of the senate committee on sports, said.
For Recto, Diaz’s remarkable feat should inspire government leaders to work harder, faster and smarter together as one during these crazy times.
“And her success will be for naught if we do not, as leaders, draw energy and inspiration from it. To win the gold, she met the Olympic ideals of faster, higher, stronger, together,” Recto said. “To win our future, we must achieve: Faster economic recovery.”
“Higher scores in all socioeconomic cards. Stronger COVID response. And doing it together, which is the most important. Hidilyn had done hers. It is time for all of us in the government to do the heavy lifting now.
For that is the only way to honor her,” he added.
Image credits: Joseph Vidal/Senate PRIB via AP