Senate honors Olympian Hidilyn Diaz

By , on August 18, 2016


A beaming Olympian Silver Medalist Hidilyn Diaz displays her medal shortly upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo: Avito Dalan/PNA)
A beaming Olympian Silver Medalist Hidilyn Diaz displays her medal shortly upon her arrival at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) Terminal 3 in Pasay City from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo: Avito Dalan/PNA)

MANILA – The Senate honored Filipino weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz on Wednesday with a resolution commending the honor she brought the country for winning the silver medal in the ongoing Olympic Games.

Under Senate Resolution (SB) 83, the Senate honored Diaz for her silver medal win and for ending the country’s 20-year Olympic medal drought.

All senators had their name included as co-authors of the measure.

In his speech, Senator Emmanuel “Manny” Pacquiao, Chair of the Committee on Sports, mentioned how Diaz’s difficult journey to the Olympics paid off and proved that Filipinos can be “world-class athletes.”

“I personally congratulate you for being triumphant in the Olympics. The Philippines is very proud of you. You are a living proof that poverty is not a hindrance to success,” Pacquiao said in a mix of English and Filipino.

After being chided by Senate President Pro-tempore Franklin Drilon for his “generosity”, the boxer-senator also vowed to give Diaz an additional incentive but did not mention how much.

“I will give Hidilyn Diaz incentives from my own pocket but I will not announce it,” Pacquiao said.

Senator Juan Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, the Committee’s Vice Chair, meanwhile described Hidilyn’s victory as “unprecedented” and noted that it reminded the nation of “the great things Filipinos are capable of achieving.”

Angara also lauded the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) for the immediate release of the Php 5-million cash incentive given to Diaz under the Republic Act (R.A.) 10699 or the National Athletes Coaches and Trainers Benefits and Incentives Act.

This measure increases the amount of cash incentives for winning athletes.

Gold medalists will receive Php 10 million; silver medalists, Php 5 million; and Php 2 million for bronze medalists.

Angara, who authored the measure, was present during Hidilyn’s arrival in Manila last Aug. 11.

Diaz, upon arriving the senate, looked excited and readily posed with senators for photos.

She said that Pacquiao has yet to speak to her about the incentive he promised to give but previously mentioned that she was contented with winning a medal for the country.