Pinoy peace negotiator Miriam Coronel-Ferrer among 2023 Ramon Magsaysay awardees

Job Manahan, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Aug 31 2023 05:48 PM

Ramon Magsaysay Award 
Ramon Magsaysay Award 

MANILA — Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, the country's chief negotiator in the peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), is among the 4 recipients of this year's Ramon Magsaysay Awards, considered Asia's Nobel Prize.

Ferrer won the award along with Ravi Kannan from India, Eugenio Lemos from Timor Leste, and Korvi Rakshand from Bangladesh. 

The Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation (RMAF) cited Ferrer's "deep, unwavering belief in the transformative power of non-violent strategies in peace building" and her fight towards creating a peaceful and just world. 

It also recognized Ferrer's contributions in drafting the country's National Action Plan on Women, Peace, and Security, which was adopted by the Philippine government in 2010. 

Aside from this, she was cited for her role as a chief negotiator for the MILF in 2012, instrumental for the Comprehensive Agreement on the Bangsamoro (CAB) in 2014. 

RMAF said this helped pave the way for the transition process in the Bangsamoro in their quest for an empowered autonomous government.

"Coronel-Ferrer’s long-standing peace advocacy has gone beyond the country’s borders. She has since been invited to be part of international teams looking into the conflict situations in East Timor and Cambodia," the RMAF said. 

"She had provided support work for the peace programs of the Carter Center in its work on Sudan and Syria," it added. 

In a text message, Ferrer said while the awardees came from diverse fields, they come together in their "ultimate quest for a peaceful and just world." 

"Global peace is meaningless if it does not bring about everyday peace to the ordinary people," Ferrer told ABS-CBN News. 

This was why she said sustaining the Bansgamoro and other peace processes globally is crucial. 

"The goal is to ultimately bring education, health care, food, justice, and overall human security to the people on the ground. In that sense, the world of all the awardees are interconnected," she said. 

In 2015, she also received the Hilary Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security. 


RMAF recognized Timor Leste's Lemos for his efforts in helping local communities and passion to streamline local and indigenous cultures to care for the environment, describing him "truly a man of and for his people."

Lemos, 51, formed the School Garden Program in public primary schools in his country, where students could tend vegetable gardens and learn composting, natural pest control, and seed selection. 

The program was able to train over 5,000 youth and was created in over 250 schools. It has since been integrated in Timor Leste's public school curriculum, based on a release from RMAF. 

"More than just about methods and techniques, Lemos promotes a whole way of looking at nature and people, particularly among the young," it said. 

Bangladesh's Rakshand, meanwhile, was recognized for fostering youth empowerment through volunteerism and education. 

RMAF said the JAAGO Foundation he established, which sought to solve country's problems on education access, grew into the largest and most dynamic non-government organization in Bangladesh.

JAAGO provides government-recognized English-language education for free, most especially to underprivileged children in the country. 

"The board of trustees recognizes... his strong, visionary leadership in democratizing education and inspiring thousands of young people to heed the call of social transformation, and for thus demonstrating how the young can be not just the bearers of the promise of the nation, but its realization," RMAF said. 

India's Kannan was cited by the Foundation for his efforts in treating cancer and having a "full-fledged comprehensive cancer hospital and research center."

"The board of trustees recognizes his devotion to his profession’s highest ideals of public service, his combination of skill, commitment, and compassion in pushing the boundaries of people-centered, pro-poor
health care and cancer care, and for having built, without expectation of reward, a beacon of hope for millions in the Indian state of Assam, thus setting a shining example for all," RMAF said. 

Established in 1957 and named after former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay who died in a plane crash, the award honors those who have performed "selfless service to the peoples of Asia." 

It has been bestowed on 340 outstanding individuals and organizations in over 6 decades.

Watch more News on iWantTFC
Video from Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation