PAMANA NG KAPAYAPAAN NATIONAL PEACE AWARD October 02, 2015 | October 08, 2015
Manila, Philippines—In celebration of the United Nations’ (UN) INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE celebrated every 21st of September recognizing the efforts of people andorganizations geared to end conflict and promote peace, various non-government organizations and academic communities in the Philippines conducted the 2015 Pamana ng Kapayapaan [Inheritance of Peace] held on October 1 and 2, Thursday and Friday at the 9th Floor of Technology Building at Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines. Manila, Philippines—In celebration of the United Nations’ (UN) INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE celebrated every 21st of September recognizing the efforts of people andorganizations geared to end conflict and promote peace, various non-government organizations and academic communities in the Philippines conducted the 2015 Pamana ng Kapayapaan [Inheritance of Peace] held on October 1 and 2, Thursday and Friday at the 9th Floor of Technology Building at Far Eastern University in Manila, Philippines.
Religious groups, academic community, peace advocates, and other attendees gave a standing ovation and continued their applause as awardees entered the auditorium in procession. Tears and happiness overwhelmed the audience in seeing individuals with big hearts in doing peace advocacies approaching the venue. The awarding ceremonies lasted for two hours with representatives from different universities around the Philippines who presented the awards. The Awards were given to:
Bai Rohaniza Sumndad – Uzman, a Maranao Princess and the founder of “Teach Peace, Build Peace Movement” with its mission to make every Filipino child and youth a peace builder. She promotes peace and development in many parts of the country through education, inter-faith, inter-cultural and inter-generational engagement. She believes that in order for the younger generation to be peace prime movers in their own communities, creative and innovative approaches are needed in creating more awareness on the peace building process like sports, music, and the arts is much needed.
The NATIONAL PEACE AWARDEE for Public Service is Dr. PERSIDA V. RUEDA-ACOSTA, a passionate advocate of prison reforms and a herald of hope to the indigents and other clients by continuously serving in her capacity as the Chief Public Attorney of the country. Her office provides the indigent litigants, the oppressed, marginalized and underprivileged members of the society for free access to courts, judicial and quasi-judicial agencies, by rendering legal services, counselling and assistance in consonance with the Constitutional mandate. She has a strong dedication to the public by restoring people’s faith in the judicial systems. Outside her work, she dedicates her time mentoring law students. Through her tireless efforts, she lobbied for the “Public Attorney’s Office Bill” that has been approved into Republic Act No. 9406—the law that elevated the Office as an independent and autonomous. As an individual, she has the kindness and compassion by setting legacies in public service, legal aid, and human rights advocacy.
The NATIONAL PEACE AWARDEE for Interfaith Harmony is Fr. SEBASTIANO D’AMBRA, PIME, an Italian-born Catholic priest fostering peace advocacy for Mindanao in more than three decades. With his Muslim and Christian friends, he founded the Silsilah Dialogue Movement—a peace advocacy based on the love of the Creator and the love of one’s neighbour regardless of religious traditions and convictions in Zamboanga City in 1984.
His initiative has brought various groups in Mindanao, including the aboriginal population, to drawn closer together because religious and cultural differences have been addressed and explained accordingly. On many instances, the Movement has played a significant part in peace negotiations between the government and Muslim rebel groups.
In his acceptance speeach Fr. D’Ambra mentioned: “I was informed that some friends shared with you my book CALL TO A DREAM and from that initial sharing you have found more information about me and the Silsilah Dialogue Movement. Yes, I have a dream, the dream to share with all I encounter in my life that we have to love all, because we are part of the same human family, people of different cultures and religions but created by the same God who loves all of us.
I dream to inspire many to dream with me and together to live and promote the Culture of Dialogue, Path to Peace. For this reason it is my strong desire to remain with you in the Philippines up to the end of my life.
During the painful experience of the siege in Zamboanga in 2013 we formulated the slogan “Why violence? Why not Peace? We are brothers and sisters!” This is the time when we have to build bridges of peace and find ways to harmonize the aspirations of the people . This is true also for our situation in Mindanao. It is time for both sides to meet in the middle and to find “pragmatic solutions” guided by sincere intentions, with the hope that along the way we continue to share and to improve what is needed for the common good.”