Secretary Deles honored as ‘Women of Essence’ and 14 others

A March 30, 2011 press release by the Ofice of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process
Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles, along with 14 women from the government, civil society, media and entertainment sector, were recipients of this year’s Victoria Jackson Women of Essence award.
The Secretary was hailed together with other awardees including two senators, three congresswomen, three journalists, one NGO worker and five entertainment personalities, in ceremonies held at the Opus Lounge of Resorts World Manila. OPAPP Communications Director Polly Michelle Cunanan accepted the Secretary’s plaque on her behalf.
A first in the Philippines, the Victoria Jackson Search for the Women of Essence paid tribute to women for their notable contributions to the empowerment of society.
Deles was among those who were voted and selected out of more than 100 candidates by Optimo International, exclusive distributor of Victoria Jackson Cosmetics in the country, for her lifetime work in peace-building and for her unique role as the peace adviser to President Benigno Aquino III.
She has always been at the forefront of gender and peace initiatives, whether as a civil society member or a public servant.
After the People Power Revolution in 1986, Deles co-founded the Coalition for Peace, an assembly of citizens advocating for peace and economic development.
From 1991 to 1994, she served as an Expert-Member of the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (UN-CEDAW).
Deles’ stint in government service began in 2001 when she was appointed as Lead Convenor and Secretary-General of the National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC) during the time of former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo. In 2003, she spearheaded the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) until her resignation in 2005.
On July 1, 2010, Deles took on the helm of OPAPP once again with her appointment by President Aquino. She vigorously pursued the revival of peace talks with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) and the National Democratic Front (NDF), as well as the review of the implementation of the 1996 Final Peace Agreement between the government and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
Under her leadership, she intends to put closure to peace tracks with the Cordillera People’s Liberation Army (CPLA) and the Rebolusyonaryong Partido ng Manggagawa – Pilipinas-Revolutionary Proletarian Army-Alex Boncayao Brigade (RPM-P-RPA-ABB).
Meanwhile, her office, in collaboration with various sectors, pushes for the implementation of the Payapa at Masaganang Pamayanan (Peaceful and Resilient Communities) or PAMANA program.
PAMANA, which is the government’s flagship program for peace and development, seeks to promote community resilience by reducing poverty and vulnerability; improving governance; and strengthening capacities of communities to address peace and development issues through activities that promote social cohesion.
Deles has been encouraging various sectors of society to support the call for a just and lasting peace, while opening avenues for meaningful participation in the process. “I have not come back to government service in my gray years to play with the peace process. I am here to call for your support, to touch the hearts of every Filipino who aspire for peace and progress so that we all work together as one. It is time to stop the violence that has torn our country apart, to stop Filipinos killing fellow Filipinos and instead dedicate ourselves to working for peace and progress.”