Ramon Magsaysay awardee Howard Dee: PH democracy, sovereignty 'at risk'
MANILA, Philippines – Philippine democracy and sovereignty is at risk. This was the message 2018 Ramon Magsaysay awardee Howard Dee made clear as he accepted the prestigious award on Friday, August 31.
"We live today in a world of turmoil and uncertainty. All human institutions are at risk, our democracy, our family, our national sovereignty," Dee said during his speech at this year's Ramon Magysaysay Foundation awarding ceremony. (READ: PH's Howard Dee, 5 others named 2018 Ramon Magsaysay awardees)
Dee, the former ambassador to the Holy See and Malta, said however that it is during this time of "darkness" that Filipinos will "see the stars of heaven."
"The victory promised by our lady of Fatima is near. Goodness and righteousness will triumph and justice and peace will reign in our land," Dee said.
Dee was lauded for his work in social justice, peace building, and protecting the rights of indigenous people.
Dee led peace building and reform initiatives under the administrations of 5 presidents — former presidents Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos, Joseph Estrada, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Benigno Aquino III.
From 1990 to 1992, Dee lead the National Peace Conference; the Social Reform Council from 1993 to 1995, peace talks with the communist party from 1993 to 1994, and in 2015, the Bangsamoro Basic Law Peace Council.
Dee is also recognized for his work which established the Philippine Business for Social Progress and Assisi Development Foundation, which has implemented over 4000 projects and affected the lives of over 10 million Filipinos.
"Mabuhay Ramon Magsaysay! Mabuhay Pilipinas, ang bayang magiliw. Aming ligaya na pag may mang-aapi ang mamatay ng dahil sa iyo," Dee said. – Rappler.com