His sensitivity regarding gender issues and equality and his reputation for being a “soldier of peace” gained General Emmanuel Bautista, Chief-of-Staff of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, a slot among the nominees in the international N-Peace Awards for peace-builders and advocates all over the world.
Gen. Bautista is among those who were nominated to the category of Men Who Advocate For Equality which features male national leaders who champion women's rights in their respective organizations and workplaces.
In his usual serious and leveled voice, General Bautista said that he believes that the cohesiveness of the Armed Forces as an organization lies in mainstreaming gender issues among its employees.
“Making each employee in the Armed Forces part of gender mainstreaming is a good way to ensure better performance in the future,” he said in a phone interview.
True to his word, he is closely monitoring the gender mainstreaming of training programs in the AFP and is making sure that top military officers under him are properly trained on women, peace and security.
He is also an advocate of the Magna Carta for Women. Among his contributions is the development of the AFP into a more welcoming place for women to work in. He also continuously campaigns for the increase of recruitment of women into the AFP.
He has also fostered the inclusion of United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 into the training program for peacekeepers. The additional training on the UN resolution makes peacekeepers aware of the strategies on how women can be included at all levels related to peace and security.
Due to this effort, more women peacekeepers are sent to the UN Peacekeeping Operations during the past few years.
He said that he hopes that if he wins the award, his subordinates and the Filipinos would take it as their source of pride.
“It will further motivate me to advance more causes for the men and women of AFP,” he said.
Bautista is one of the men behind the formulation of the Internal Peace and Security Plan (Bayanihan) which encouraged and directed the AFP to create partnerships with other sectors of Philippine society in securing peace and development especially in the conflicted and remote areas of the country where insurgency is still a problem.
As a soldier serious in his career, he was decorated seven times in combat before receiving his fourth star this year.
He had also received seven Distinguished Service Stars, a Gold Cross Medal for gallantry in action, and a Bronze Cross Medal for bravery. He also received three Outstanding Achievement Medals, 29 Military Merit Medals, several Military Commendation Medals and various military campaign medals and ribbons.
He was a recipient of a distinguished alumni award from Philippine Military Academy and University of the Philippines College of Business Administration.
The list of awardees in the N-Peace Awards categories will be revealed on the N-Peace website www.n-peace.net at the end of the month of July after online voting closes. The awarding ceremony will be on October 2013.