Grace Padaca wins RM Award

Let us all celebrate the victory of our friend, Governor Grace. With her and our other clean politicians in government, the ship of state still has hope -- Danton


Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca and a Laguna-based microfinancing organization are among the eight winners of the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay Awards, Asia’s version of the Nobel Prize.

Padaca, 44, won the Magsaysay Award for Government Service for "empowering Isabela voters to reclaim their democratic right to elect leaders of their own choosing, and to contribute as full partners in their own development.”

Padaca, a former commentator on radio station Bombo Radyo in Cauyan, Isabela, toppled a political dynasty in her province after winning the gubernatorial elections in 2004 and again in 2007. During her childhood, she suffered from polio, which has forced her to walk with crutches for most of her life.

She recently teamed up with Pampanga Governor Eddie Panlilio, Naga City Mayor Jesse Robredo, and Mayor Sonia Lorenzo of San Isidro, Nueva Ecija to launch "Kaya Natin", a group that seeks to recruit principled local government officials to change the country’s deteriorating political situation.

The other winners are:

- Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) in San Pablo, Laguna for Public Service

The group is being honored "for successful adaptation of microfinance in the Philippines, providing self-sustaining and comprehensive services for half a million poor women and their families.”

- Therdchai Jivacate from Thailand for Public Service

He is being honored for “his dedicated efforts in Thailand to provide inexpensive, practical, and comfortable artificial limbs even to the poorest amputees.”

- Prakash Amte and Mandakini Amte from India, for Community Leadership

They are being recognized for “enhancing the capacity of the Madia Gonds to adapt positively in today’s India, through healing and teaching and other compassionate interventions.”

- Ahmad Syafii Maarif from Indonesia for Peace and International Understanding

He is being honored for "guiding Muslims to embrace tolerance and pluralism as the basis for justice and harmony in Indonesia and in the world at large.”

- Akio Ishii from Japan for Journalism, Literature and Creative Communication Arts

He is being recognized for “his principled career as a publisher, placing discrimination, human rights, and other difficult subjects squarely in Japan’s public discourse."

- Ananda Galappatti from Sri Lanka for Emergent Leadership

He is being recognized for “his spirited personal commitment to bring appropriate and effective psychosocial services to victims of war trauma and natural disasters in Sri Lanka.”

RMAF president Carmencita Abella said this year's Magsaysay awardees “are indeed pathfinders in a changing Asia, charting new ways to address persistent, often intractable problems in their societies. Working in different countries on diverse issues of poverty, prejudice, politics, livelihoods, and health, these awardees nevertheless share an uncommon faith in the tremendous potential of people and social institutions.

"They share as well an indomitable will and persistence to tap into this potential and thus create greater, and lasting, good."

The eight 2008 Magsaysay awardees join 263 other laureates who have received Asia’s highest honor to date.They will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during the presentation ceremonies to be held on August 31 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.

Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award honors the memory and leadership of the third Philippine President and is given yearly to individuals and organizations in Asia who manifest the same selfless service that Magsaysay had.

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