Until this year, the Ateneo Special Awards, the awards given each year by the Ateneo de Zamboanga University Board of Trustees, has never been conferred to a uniformed man.
The 2009 Ateneo Peace Award will be conferred to not one but two military generals: Lt. Gen. Raymundo B. Ferrer, head of the Eastern Mindanao Command, and Lt. Gen. Mohammad Benjamin D. Dolorfino, head of the Western Mindanao Command.
The two highest military officers in Mindanao will be honored along with the Congregation of the Religious of the Virgin Mary (RVM) during the Ateneo Special Awards Convocation on Wednesday, February 10, 2010 at 5 pm at the Carlos Dominguez Hall of the university’s La Purisima Campus.
The RVM is this year’s recipient of the Archbishop Luis V. Del Rosario, SJ, DD Award, given to persons or groups who have shown “great care for others especially in the religious, spiritual, and social spheres of activity.”
The Ateneo Peace Award on the other hand is given to Ferrer and Dolorfino for, as with past recipients, significant contributions to the peace process and the culture of peace.
The 2009 Ateneo Special Awards was originally scheduled for November 2009 but was moved to this month. The 2010 awards will be given towards the end of this year.
The trustees have chosen not to confer to anyone in the other special awards: the Mayor Cesar C. Climaco Award, granted to groups or individuals for exemplary service to the community; the Honorary Doctorate, given to persons who have effectively worked for peace and development; nor the Pro Deo et Patria Award, Ateneo’s highest, given to groups or individuals who have shown outstanding service and generosity of life on behalf of others.
Earlier in the day, at 9 am at the same venue, the Ateneo Peace and Culture Institute (APCI) will hold a peace forum entitled “Waging Peace in Mindanano” with Ferrer and Dolorfino as speakers.