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NAMFREL announces the recipients of the 2014 Bantay ng Bayan Awards,

and remembers and honors the NAMFREL Heroes

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MAKATI CITY, PHILIPPINES—November 10, 2014— The National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL) announced today the recipients of the 2014 Bantay ng Bayan Awards, during the Welcome Cocktails for the Asian Citizens’ Election Monitoring Organization Workshop being held at Dusit Thani Manila. NAMFREL also paid tribute to the NAMFREL Heroes — volunteers who have lost their lives in the line of duty—by unveiling a commemorative glass marker with the names of 11 volunteers. The awarding and commemoration cap NAMFREL’s year-long celebration of its 30th Anniversary.

The Bantay ng Bayan Awards, first handed out in October 2013 during the launch of the year-long anniversary celebration, is given to individuals or organizations that embody the values of NAMFREL, recognizing their achievements in electoral reform and good governance advocacy, and who continue to make significant efforts in bringing the same to their own community and/or profession, in the Philippines and/or beyond. Initially, recipients of the Bantay ng Bayan Award are past and present NAMFREL volunteers instrumental in the founding and strengthening of NAMFREL and electoral reform advocacy in the country.

The recipients of the 2014 Bantay ng Bayan (trans. “Sentinels of the People”) Awards are:
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1. .. Teresa F. Nieva - Co-founder of three Philippine election monitoring organizations, namely Voters’ Voice (1971), Citizens National Committee for Referenda, Plebiscites, and Elections (CINACORPE, 1978), and NAMFREL (1983)

“For her pioneering effort in encouraging Filipinos to actively be involved politically as non-partisan election observers, at a time of utmost danger, and for continuously serving as an inspiration to NAMFREL volunteers"
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2.   Senator Vicente T. Paterno - Former NAMFREL chairperson for the National Capital Region; former Senator of the Republic of the Philippines; member, FSGO (Former Senior Government Officials)

“For his significant contribution towards the strengthening of the NAMFREL volunteer movement at its most crucial time; for his leadership not just in the business sector but also in government; and for continuously serving as a role model not just for ordinary citizens but also to those who aspire for public office"
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3.   Atty. Ricardo J. Romulo - Former member, NAMFREL National Council; former Chairman, Makati Business Club
(1987-2006)

“For his exemplary achievements in law and business; for his commitment to democratic ideals best exemplified by his efforts to enjoin the Philippine business sector in patriotic and anti-corruption pursuits; and for serving as a model of academic and professional excellence and patriotism”
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4.   Sr. Luz Emmanuel P. Soriano, R.A. - Former member, NAMFREL National Council; former administrator of Assumption Makati and Antipolo

“For her belief in the ability of education, faith and nationalism to help bring about positive change; for her invaluable contribution to the strengthening of NAMFREL and its volunteer network from the beginning; and for instilling in young people’s minds and hearts the values of democracy and free and fair elections”
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5.   Ricardo P. Guevara (posthumous award) - Former NAMFREL Treasurer and National Council member; helped organize NAMFREL in Mindanao from 1984

“For his selfless devotion to the cause of free and fair elections in the country; for his significant contribution to the success of NAMFREL’s national operations especially in resource generation for which he engaged his business and network; and for a life of humility dedicated to the betterment of society"
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6.   Justice Jose Y. Feria (posthumous award) - Former NAMFREL National Chairperson and Legal Counsel; former Associate Justice of the Supreme Court; former President of the Philippine Bar Association

“For his exceptional legal expertise; for imparting his knowledge to generations of Filipinos; for using his professional competence and legal stature in the service of Philippine society; and for his significant contribution to the promotion of free and fair elections in the country through his active involvement in NAMFREL”
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7.   The Bishops- Businessmen’s Conference for Human Development (BBC)
http://www.bbc.org.ph - spearheaded a multi-sectoral effort to mobilize volunteers for NAMFREL nationwide; held regular fora and dialogues where important national issues were discussed, at a time when it was dangerous to do so; involved in ensuring transparency in government transactions, by monitoring the conduct of bids and awards procedures of various government offices “For its pioneering efforts in the promotion of social responsibility, alleviation of poverty, active political involvement of citizenry through dialogues and volunteerism; and for their promotion of transparency in government processes"
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8.   La Salle Green Hills - Provided a venue for NAMFREL’s groundbreaking citizens’ national parallel vote count — the Operation Quick Count (OQC) from 1984 to 2010; students, alumni, and administrators became NAMFREL volunteers and brought its network nationwide to support NAMFREL’s activities in their own areas “For its continuing commitment to transparent, free and fair elections, and for facilitating the spread of democratic ideals and volunteerism across the country through its members and alumni”
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The NAMFREL Heroes remembered and honored were:
... Jaime Alcala
  Cresencio Barcuma
  Hamlet Canale
  Neoldino Del Corro
  Fructuoso Javines
  Irineo Magbanua 
  Ustad Abdul Haq Malabarag
  Samuel Moulic
  Alexis Parao
  Rodrigo Ponce
  Dan Sarmiento

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Since 1983, NAMFREL has been bringing together Filipinos of all sectors to work to help revive and sustain democracy in the country by safeguarding the integrity of the vote, and later on also through activities in line with good governance. NAMFREL is the acknowledged world pioneer in the conduct of a citizen-led parallel vote tabulation, known locally as the Operation Quick Count. Internationally, NAMFREL has inspired like-minded organizations to set up their own election monitoring activities in their own countries, with NAMFREL volunteers and officers actively engaging international counterparts to help initiate programs similar to those of NAMFREL in the Philippines.

The Asian Citizens’ Election Monitoring Organization Workshop, co-hosted with the National Democratic Institute (NDI) and the Global Network of Domestic Election Monitors (GNDEM), is being participated in by representatives from domestic election monitoring organizations from several Asian countries. It focuses primarily on learning from NAMFREL’s three decades of successful experience in monitoring elections and promoting electoral integrity in the Philippines, as well as on facilitating exchange between all participants on lessons learned, best practices, and emerging innovations in nonpartisan citizen election observation.
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See the 2013 Bantay ng Bayan Awardees HERE
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