Air Force promotion awaits Hidilyn Diaz after Olympic gold victory

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 27)— Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz is set to receive a promotion from the Philippine Air Force (PAF) following her historic gold-medal performance in the Tokyo Olympics.

"The Philippine Air Force intends to promote her from sergeant temporary to staff sergeant," PAF Commanding General Allen Paredes said in a video message Tuesday.

The PAF is also preparing a "warm welcome" for Diaz once she's back in the Philippines and out of quarantine, Paredes said. This includes handing out of awards, he added.

Diaz etched her name in the history books after clinching the Philippines' first Olympic gold medal on Monday. She dominated the women's -55kg final while setting new Olympic records in the process.

READ: Weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz bags PH's first Olympic gold medal in 97 years

The Philippine pride and her team are slated to leave Japan on Wednesday, but there are no clear plans yet for her homecoming.

In an earlier interview with CNN Philippines, Sen. Panfilo Lacson suggested that Diaz must be commissioned as an officer of the PAF to recognize her "outstanding feat."

"That's the least that the service can do to her or give her," Lacson said.

Congressional honors?

The 30-year-old pride of Zamboanga may also receive the first Senate Medal of Honor awarded to outstanding athletes, uniformed personnel, scientists, and other civilians for their "extraordinary service and invaluable contribution to nation-building."

Senators Miguel Zubiri, Edgardo Angara, and Francis Tolentino said in a statement that their recently filed Senate Resolution 781 bestows a Philippine Senate Medal of Honor "upon deserving Filipinos...for setting the highest standards of excellence, nationalism, and virtue that their fellowmen can aspire for."

Senate President Tito Sotto III and Senators Franklin Drilon, Lito Lapid, and Risa Hontiveros also filed separate resolutions commending the Filipina athlete for her triumph.

"Hidilyn Diaz deserves to be exalted as one of the country's most accomplished athletes after earning several medals in different international sporting events," Sotto said.

More prizes, benefits

Diaz is slated to receive ₱35 million as of this writing: ₱10 million from the national government as stipulated in the National Athletes and Coaches Benefits and Incentives Act, ₱10 million each from business tycoons and sports patrons Ramon Ang and Manny Pangilinan, ₱3 million from Rep. Mikee Romero, and ₱2.5 million from her hometown Zamboanga City.

She will also be awarded an Eastwood City condominium unit from developer MegaWorld and a house and lot in Tagaytay courtesy of Philippine Olympic Committee president Abraham "Bambol" Tolentino.

Diaz is also set to receive flight benefits from major airline companies. AirAsia Philippines said it would award the athlete with lifetime free flights, while Philippine Airlines announced it would provide her 80,000 free miles per year, also for life.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque said during a media briefing on Tuesday that an undisclosed reward worth "millions" from President Rodrigo Duterte also awaits Diaz when she gets back.

RELATED: What's next for Hidilyn Diaz? Definitely not retirement