Filipino human rights lawyer among ASEAN Peoples’ awardees

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia -- The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) recognized the recipients of the inaugural ASEAN Peoples’ Award on the sidelines of the 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits here.

Filipino Ray Paolo Santiago was one of the 10 recipients of the award which honors individuals or organizations who made contributions toward the creation of a united, prosperous and caring ASEAN Community.

Santiago heads the Ateneo Human Rights Center. He is also the secretary general of the ASEAN Human Rights Mechanism working group.

The other awardees were Singapore Polytechnic (ASEAN Outreach Thrust; Persatuan Basmi Dadah (Brunei); Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia; Prita Kemal Gani (Indonesia); Thasano Rice Research and Seed Multiplication Center (Laos); Parami Roundtable Group (Myanmar), Saisuree Chutikul (Thailand), Nguyen Manh Cam (Vietnam) and Malaysian politician Mohamad Ghazali Shafie (posthumously).

Ghazalie, who served as foreign minister and home minister during his career, was honored for his contributions towards the founding of the ASEAN.

Singapore Polytechnic won the award for including experimental learning into its curriculum. Through the ASEAN Outreach Thrust, students get involved in community-building projects to help improve the lives of people in other ASEAN countries.

Persatuan Basmi Dadah, a non-government organization, was selected for its anti-drugs activities with the help of volunteers and voters.

The ASEAN Peoples’ Award promotes the achievements of the individuals or organizations in a broader latitude to community-building effort, including, among others, in the areas of political, social and cultural development; economic integration; youth and livelihood education, volunteerism, community development and empowerment.

The winners, who were chosen by their respective countries, received a trophy and a USD 10,000 cash grant to support and encourage them to continue their activities.

An exhibit showcasing their work and achievements is being held throughout the 27th ASEAN Summit at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre. (PCOO/PND)


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