01 December 2010
In joint observance of Human Rights Day and World AIDS Day, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) Manila organized a “Human Rights Defenders” Forum on 1 December at the Civil Law Auditorium of the University of Sto.Tomas.
Three Filipino Human Rights Defenders of Indigenous Peoples (IPs), Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), and People Living with HIV/AIDS (PLHA) were given recognition in awards ceremonies that were preceded by audio-visual presentations on the awardees’ life and advocacy work.
Mr. Dave de Vera, executive director of the Philippine Association for Intercultural Development (PAFID), received the award for all Filipino IP advocates. Ms. Adeline Dumapong, the first and only Paralympics medallist from the Philippines, was the designated PWD defender. Mr. Jerico Paterno, an area coordinator for Pinoy Plus, a non-government organization staffed by HIV-positive patients and which provides counseling and care for persons living with HIV/AIDS, received the Human Rights Defender award for PLHA.
The three human rights defenders delivered messages to the audience, which was composed of students from the different colleges of the University of Sto. Tomas, one of the Philippines’ biggest and oldest private universities. A lively open forum followed, during which the students were able to interact with the awardees.