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7 Dabawenyos receive Datu Bago Awards

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By Yas D. Ocampo

OUTSTANDING DABAWENYOS – Recipients of the 48th Datu Bago Awards are shown following the awarding ceremonies at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City yesterday. They are (from left) Nietto L. Vitto, Beethoven N. Sur, Belen C. Laud, Norma Javellana, Bro. Karl Gaspar, Ricardo Obenza, and Fr. Aland David Mizell. (Keith Bacongco)

OUTSTANDING DABAWENYOS – Recipients of the 48th Datu Bago Awards are shown following the awarding ceremonies at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City yesterday. They are (from left) Nietto L. Vitto, Beethoven N. Sur, Belen C. Laud, Norma Javellana, Bro. Karl Gaspar, Ricardo Obenza, and Fr. Aland David Mizell. (Keith Bacongco)

Davao City – Seven Dabawenyos were conferred the highest honor given to citizens and contributors of the city’s development yesterday morning at the Royal Mandaya Hotel here.

The awarding ceremonies of the 48th Datu Bago Awards had Mayor Sara Duterte-Carpio as guest of honor.

Awarded this year were Bro. Carlito Gaspar, Norma T. Javellana, Belen Laud, Aland David Mizell, Ph.D., Ricardo Obenza, Jr., Beethoven N. Sur, and Nieto Latorre Vitto.

Gaspar was awarded for his contribution in peace and development through inter-faith dialogues. Last year, he was tapped by Duterte as one of the city’s consultants for an attempt to a localized peace talks with rebels of the New People’s Army (NPA), before President Rodrigo Duterte proclaimed it as a terrorist group.

Javellana is an environmentalist and children’s rights advocate, and known as one of the prime movers of the protection of green spaces, the Panigan-Tamugan River, as well as the Shrine Hills, which was eventually declared an ecological subzone by the city government.

Laud is a leader in the cooperative movement, serving to improve the conditions of various cooperatives in the city and the region.

Mizell has provided assistances in the form of scholarships and educational programs through the Minority Care International. “He is being recognized for his trailblazing “College Education Behind Bars,” a program he initiated with the Social Entrepreneurship Technology and Business Institute, Inc., the University of Southeastern Philippines, and the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology,” the Datu Bago citation read.

Obenza Jr., is an environmental activist, teacher, and artist, who has devoted more than 40 years of his life to the reforestation of the Malagos Watershed and the art education of Davao City’s children.

Sur was honored for his significant contribution to the sports and youth development of Davao City and for his outstanding service in support of the Philippine Coast Guard in the Davao Region.

Vitto is being recognized for his valuable contribution to the promotion of the rights and welfare of children with disability that led to Davao City’s national recognition as a child-friendly city.

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