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President Wang Presents the Control Yuan Medal to Panama Ombudsman Ms. Patria Portugal

  • PostDate:2012-10-16

On the eve of R.O.C. National Day, President of the Control Yuan, Wang Chien-shien, presented the First Grade Control Yuan Medal to Panama Ombudsman (Defender of the People) to Ms. Patria Portugal during a Yuan plenary meeting. The award honors Ms. Portugal's endeavors to strive for human rights protection and her contributions to international ombudsman affairs.
At the invitation of the Control Yuan, Ms. Portugal extended a five-day visit to Taiwan beginning on October 7 to visit the Yuan on the morning of October 9. She first met with the President Wang and exchanged views in president’s office. Afterwards, she delivered a speech at the Yuan plenary meeting and spoke about her 20-year odyssey on redressing grievance of her father, who was illegally detained, mistreated and subsequently executed by the dictatorship in Ms. Portugal’s childhood.
In 1990, Ms. Portugal filed a lawsuit against the government over her father’s disappearance, but no court issued a ruling in the case. After having been ignored by the Panamanian courts, Ms. Portugal took the case to the Inter-American Human Rights Court in 2007 and finally won the case in 2008. The Panamanian government was ordered to pay the compensation to Portugal’s family and make a public official apology to them. In 2011, Ms. Portugal was appointed by the president of Panama to the current post due to her relentless determination.
In the speech, Ms. Portugal expressed gratitude that she can serve as an Ombudsman and confidence that she is qualified to perform the job well since her experience of struggle enables her to easily put herself into complainants shoes and thus dedicated to helping them. She was tearful when being awarded the medal and said that she would like to dedicate the honor to her beloved father.
The Control Yuan enjoys a long-term friendship with its Latin American counterparts. It not only has signed a mutual cooperation agreement with Ombudsman offices of Argentina, Panama and Paraguay, but has also attended Iberoamerican Federation of Ombudsman (FIO) for several times.
During the stay, Ms. Portugal also attended ROC National Day celebration ceremony.