Governor Grace Padaca wins RM Award

We should celebrate the victory of our friend, Governor Grace Padaca, at the Ramon Magsaysay Awards. With people like her and our other clean politicians, the ship of state still has hope. — Danton


ISABELA provincial Gov. Grace Padaca heads the list of the 2008 Ramon Magsaysay awardees, the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation announced yesterday.

Padaca received the award for Government Service.

The other awardees were Indian couple Prakash and Mandakini Amte for Community Leadership; Japanese publisher Akio Ishii for Journalism, Literature, and Creative Communication Arts; Indonesian Ahmad Syafii Maarif for Peace and International Understanding; Thailand’s Therdchai Jivacate for Public Service; Sri Lankan Ananda Galapatti for Emergent Leadership, and the Philippines’ Center for Agriculture & Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD MRI) for Public Service.

Padaca, a polio victim, was recognized for “empowering voters in the Philippines’ Isabela province to reclaim their democratic right to elect leaders of their own choosing, and to contribute as full partners in their own development.”

Padaca ended the dynasty of the Dy family in Isabela when she won as governor in 2004. She was re-elected last year.

Prakash and Mandakini, both medical doctors, run a hospital and school for the Madia Gond tribals in a remote part of central India.

Ishii, head of the publishing house Akashi Shoten, was recognized for “his principled career as a publisher, placing discrimination, human rights, and other difficult subjects squarely in Japan’s public discourse.”

Maarif, head of Indonesia’s powerful Muhammadiyah group, was honored for guiding Muslims to embrace tolerance and pluralism as the basis for justice and harmony in Indonesia and in the world at large.”

Therdchai, a prosthetic limb manufacturer, was recognized for “his dedicated efforts in Thailand to provide inexpensive, practical, and comfortable artificial limbs even to the poorest amputees.”

Galapatti, a psychologist, was honored for “his spirited personal commitment to bring appropriate and effective psychosocial services to victims of war trauma and natural disasters in Sri Lanka.”

CARD MRI was honored for “successful adaptation of microfinance in the Philippines, providing self-sustaining and comprehensive services for half a million poor women and their families.”

Established in 1957, the Ramon Magsaysay Award is Asia’s highest honor and is widely regarded as the region’s equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

It celebrates the memory and leadership example of the third Philippine President, and is given every year to individuals or organizations in Asia who manifest the same sense of selfless service that ruled the life of the late and beloved Filipino leader.

This year’s winners will each receive a certificate, a medallion bearing the likeness of the late President, and a cash prize.

They will be formally conferred the Magsaysay Award during the Presentation Ceremonies on Aug. 31 at the Cultural Center of the Philippines.


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