Philippinen: Maria Lorenza Palm-Dalupan

The peace process involves more than negotiations with armed groups. You can not achieve social transformation just sitting across a negotiating table."

— Maria Lorenza Palm-Dalupan

When the Filipino people ousted the dictator Marcos in a non-violent revolution, Maria "Binky" Lorenza Palm-Dalupan (born 1952) heeded the call to help rebuild democracy. She served two presidents as Executive Director of the Peace Commission, the National Unification Commission (NUC) and the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). Her office developed peace policy, supported peace negotiations, coordinated reforms to address causes of armed conflicts and partnered with stakeholders in and out of government in an effort to build a culture of peace in the country.

Like many Filipinos during the martial law period (1972-1986), Binky wanted nothing to do with the government. So she immersed herself in academic work (anthropology) and later pursued higher studies in the US. Coming home in 1985 to join the pro-democracy campaign, she stayed on to serve in the new government that needed all the help it could get. For ten years, Binky ran the government peace office on behalf of several Presidential Peace Advisers. With a committed staff, she helped formulate, organize and manage government peace policies and programs responding to such factors as the dynamics between civilian and military sectors in government, changing levels, character and impact of the armed conflicts, strengthened interaction with civil society peace advocates and the growth of community-based peace initiatives. Binky nurtured the shift in official policy to a broader vision of peace as more than the absence of an armed conflict. The peace process is seen as a non-violent social transformation, working quietly, setting the foundation and infrastructure for all stakeholders in the peace process. When she left government in 1996, her office was overseeing the government's comprehensive peace program, "Six Paths to Peace", a package of reforms linked together by three underlying principles: societal transformation towards justice, equity, humanity and pluralism; people's participation; and non-violence. Recognizing that government is a source of and party to the armed conflicts, Binky sees the necessity and value of working for peace from within government. "To achieve sustainable peace, government must be transformed into an instrument of social justice and an enabler of peace. That is the potential and the continuing challenge of peace workers in government."