Mindanawon peace advocate is Ninoy Aquino Fellow for Public Service

This year’s Fellow for Journalism is another Another Mary Ann, surnamed Toral, a senior producer at  the ABS-CBN News Channel (ANC).

Former President Corazon Aquino will grace the awarding rites of the Benigno S. Aquino Jr. Fellowships for Professional Development.

The Aquino Fellows will travel to the United States on a three to four week professional exchange program through the U.S. Embassy’s International Visitor Program in June.

The Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. Fellowships for Professional Development or Ninoy Aquino Fellowships, started in 1988, is in honor of the late Senator who “distinguished himself as a journalist, provincial governor and legislator.”

Arnado told MindaNews that the honor and pride the Fellowship brings she owes much “to the men and women of the Mindanao Peoples Caucus who have taught me practical lessons, wisdom and values which significantly influence and shape my peace advocacy work today.”

“I owe this distinction to these selfless, tireless and passionate grassroots leaders who have always inspired me to take bolder steps and be more creative in finding ways to resolve the armed conflict in Mindanao. I thank and honor the MPC leaders and the hundreds of Bantay Ceasefire volunteers who are in the war zones risking their lives to protect women and children who are caught in the armed conflict. They are my heroes and I honor them today,” she said.

Arnado’s daughters, Ihip and Isa, and Manila-based peace advocates, as well as some Mindanao-based colleagues, will attend the awarding rites.

Other Mindanawons named as Ninoy Aquino Fellows for Public Service are Piang Albar; Taha M. Basman, who passed away recently; Yasmin Busran Lao; Fr. Roberto Layson, OMI; and Fr. Eliseo R. Mercado, Jr., OMI.  Jose Torres, a Mindanawon, is among the Fellows for Journalism. (MindaNews)