Press Release
October 2, 2018

As women's group turns 60, Koko urges women to achieve more in nation building

Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today said women have a unique leadership role in nation-building as he cited empirical data showing their "positive influence" when elected to government positions.

At the recent 23rd convention of the Federation of Asia-Pacific Women's Association, Pimentel urged FAPWA to continue partnerships that are geared towards the economic uplift of the poor and lasting peace and stability.

"It will be a pleasure and beneficial to hear from women's groups valuable inputs to form part of my legislative agenda," said Pimentel, president of the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino Lakas ng Bayan (PDP Laban).

He provided examples of outstanding Filipino women who blazed their own trail in legislation, executive leadership and local governance.

Pimentel said Sen. Geronima Pecson, founder of FAPWA, was the first Filipina elected not only to the Senate but also to the UNESCO.

Sen. Leticia Ramos-Shahani, a career diplomat, rose to become the Senate President pro tempore, the first Filipina to hold that post, and Sen. Santanina Rasul the first Muslim woman elected to the chamber.

The late Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago was the first Filipino and Asian elected judge to the International Criminal Court, Pimentel said, while Sen. Loren Legarda, the first woman Majority Leader, has been an activist for the environment and Sen. Pia Cayetano, at 38 years old, was the youngest woman elected to the Senate.

Pimentel challenged the 60-year old organization, headed by former three-term mayor Mary Jane Ortega of San Fernando, La Union, to work towards a Philippine society that is just and fair, educated, healthy and productive, free and democratic, and happy with overflowing love of God and country.

"Our task is to sustain and expand what we have started," said Pimentel.

He raised hope that the new millennium will see our society liberated from extremist violence and fear.

He said the world "hopes to see the hungry no longer hungry; the homeless no longer homeless; the unemployed no longer unemployed; the sick and disabled no longer unattended; children deprived of school get educated; and that everyone becomes a steward of the environment where everyone enjoys the protection of life."

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