April 5, 2013 (9:13 AM)

4 min read


Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel, also known as Ana Theresia Hontiveros, is a Filipina activist, journalist, and politician.
Risa Hontiveros is a principled leader, a staunch human rights advocate, an excellent and competent lawmaker, an award winning broadcast journalist – and a dedicated single-parent to four children.

According to her official Facebook fan page, she represents the good fight in Philippine politics: she is a champion of the Reproductive Health Bill, a defender of the rights of the marginalized, a symbol of integrity in public office.

At the age of 15, Risa became one of the youngest voices who spoke against the Bataan Nuclear Plant. Her student activism flourished when she entered the halls of the Ateneo de Manila University where she was an active leader of the Student Government. As a scholar, she graduated cum laude with a degree in AB Social Sciences.

While still an undergrad, Risa became a broadcast journalist and in 1994, was awarded the Golden Dove for Best Female Newscaster by the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster ng Pilipinas.

With a fierce belief in the importance of resolving conflict without resorting to violence, Risa joined the Coalition of Peace where she became the Secretary-General when she was 22 years old. In 1988, she served as a member of the Government Panel for Peace Talks. Her work as a peace advocate has been recognized locally and globally. In 2001 she received the Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Award for Peace Advocacy from the Philippine Jaycees. She also received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2005 for her work in the Peace Talks with the National Democratic Front from 1988 to 1999.

During the 2004 national elections, Risa Hontiveros finally joined the political arena when she ran and won as a House Representative under the banner of the Akbayan Party and served for two consecutive terms. She immediately made her mark for her firm belief in integrity in politics and her competence as a lawmaker. She persistently fought against the abuses of GMA administration and was even arrested for her advocacy for women’s rights.

Despite her oppositionist stance, she managed to push for the passage of two of the bills that she principally authored and championed in the House of Representatives: the Cheaper Medicines law, which aims to lower the cost of essential medicines, and the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program Extension with Reforms (CARPER) Law, which has given farmers the chance to own the land they are tilling. She was and still is a champion of the RH/RP Bill, which gives Filipinos the choice to plan their families according to their conscience and the chance to have a better life.

Risa Hontiveros currently serves as the Chairperson of Akbayan Party and is a prominent figure in the nationwide campaign for the passage of the Reproductive Health (RH) Bill in the 15th Congress.

Having served as a journalist for ten years before venturing into politics, Risa Hontiveros is a recipient of the Kapisanan ng Mga Broadkaster ng Pilipinas’ Golden Dove Award for Best Female Newscaster. She has also received a Nobel Peace Prize nomination in 2005 for her work in the Peace Talks with the National Democratic Front from 1998 to 1999. She is the older sister of journalist and television host Pia Hontiveros, and television host Ginggay Hontiveros.


Running under Team PNoy, Risa Hontiveros’ agenda mainly focus on a position for the introduction of Divorce for the Philippines, as well as being for the Anti-Political dynasties bill. This bill would ensure that “The State shall guarantee equal access to public service and prohibit political dynasty as may be defined by law.” Among the other agendas there is also the passage of Universal Health Care which has been supported by all candidates.

End the silence of the gagged!

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