Press Release
January 29, 2014

Senate lauds Blas Ople's daughter for fight vs human trafficking

The Senate today adopted a resolution commending the daughter of former Senator and renowned statesman Blas Ople for her tireless and relentless efforts to curb human trafficking.

Maria Susana Ople, better known as Toots, was conferred the 2013 Global Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Hero Award by US State Secretary John Kerry in Washington, D.C. She was the only Asian awardee for this year.

The TIP Hero Award is given annually to individuals who have devoted their lives in fighting human trafficking. Recently, the US State Department's Annual Trafficking in Persons (TIP) Report has listed the Philippines as having a Tier 2 status, which means that the US recognizes the country's significant efforts to adhere to the benchmarks prescribed in meeting the minimum standards to address human trafficking.

"The Philippine Government is vigorously and actively working on fully complying with the minimum standards for the elimination of the severe forms of trafficking as provided under the 2000 Trafficking Victims Protection's Act of the United States in order to attain a Tier 1 status, the highest rank a country may receive," Sen. Jinggoy Estrada, who introduced Senate Resolution 130, said.

"As President of the Blas Ople Policy Center and Training Institute that advocates labor and migration issues, Ms. Ople has been addressing and fighting human trafficking for years now and has, in fact, earned the respect of the international academe when she was given the Harvard Alumni Achievement Award by the John F. Kennedy School in 2010 in recognition of her active campaign against human trafficking," Estrada added.

The senator concluded that Ms. Ople has brought pride and honor to the Philippines with her achievements in curbing the trade in humans and deserves local recognition.(PILAR S. MACROHON)

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