Former Comelec Chairman and NAMFREL
pioneer Christian Monsod is this year's recipient of the Joe C.
Baxter award. The award, given by the International Foundation for
Electoral Systems (IFES), is presented annually to a professional
committed to the principles of ownership, transparency and
sustainability of electoral administration. According to IFES, Mr.
Monsod throughout his career has built a track record upholding rule
of law and claiming social justice for the Philippine's marginalized
Mr. Monsod was former Secretary General (1986) and National Chairman
(1987) of NAMFREL. In 1991, he was appointed Chairman of the
Commission on Elections, a position he held until 1995. Under his
tenure, the Comelec began its efforts to modernize Philippine
elections through Operation MODEX (Modernization and Excellence),
the components of which included the computerization of voters
lists, as well as other initiatives to make the Philippine electoral
system more transparent, efficient, and inclusive. Mr. Monsod is
currently the honorary chairman of the Legal Network for Truthful
Elections (LENTE), the first nationwide network of lawyers, law
students, paralegals and other trained volunteers set up by various
non-partisan groups engaged in election monitoring work, and Vice
Co-Chairman of the Bishops-Businessmen's Conference (BBC).
"This year's Baxter Award is of special significance as IFES
celebrates 25 years of success and recognizes Monsod's lifetime
achievements in the field of election administration,” said IFES
President and CEO Bill Sweeney. “We couldn't be honoring a more
fitting and deserving individual who fully epitomizes our mission of
democracy building and passionate dedication to giving a voice to
the underrepresented in the way they are governed."
In response to the award, Monsod said in a statement: "I am deeply
honored at being the 2012 recipient of the Joe C. Baxter Award of
the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. I consider it an
affirmation by an acknowledged international expert institution of
the pioneering efforts taken by the Philippines to modernize its
election system. We look forward to a continuing association with
IFES in the ongoing reforms to further strengthen and broaden the
choices of the voters by addressing such problems as dysfunctional
political parties, the improper use of money including government
resources, and of warlordism and political dynasties in a number of
The awarding ceremony will be held on November 5 at the Ritz-Carlton
hotel in Washington, D.C.
The National Citizens' Movement for Free Elections proudly
congratulates Mr. Monsod for this award.