Philippinen: Teresita Quintos-Deles

We have to make an act of faith every day to overcome all threats to peace so we can become effective peace advocates and peacemakers. We have to stay the course.

— Teresita Quintos-Deles

Teresita Quintos-Deles (born 1948), has come full circle as adviser to President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on the peace process. From 1987 to 2001, Teresita Deles was one of leaders of the peace movement in civil society as chair of the Coalition for Peace (CFP) and executive director of the GZO Peace Institute. She joined government in 2001 as lead convenor of the National Anti-Poverty Commission, addressing social justice issues that bear on peace and development. She was appointed to her current job, overseeing government strategies and programs related to peace building, in 2003.

Teresita Quintos-Deles has been part of every effort by civil society to build peace in the country since 1986. She was convenor and chair of the Coalition for Peace (CFP) founded in 1987, the first citizens’ alliance focused on seeking an end to the armed conflict. In 1990, she helped convene the National Peace Conference that forged a broad-based consensus among 17 basic sectors on a national vision and agenda for peace. From 1991 to 2001, she was executive director of the Gaston Z Ortigas Peace Institute, created to provide a permanent support base for citizens’ peace initiatives. From 1990 to 1995, the Multi-Sectoral Peace Advocates and the Philippine Independent Peace Advocates pursued dialogues and liaisons for setting up formal peace talks between the government and the two main armed groups, the communists and the Muslim rebels. Teresita was also a member of the Peace Consortium composed of ten peace institutes, centers and program desks that carried out research into and training for conflict resolution. Joining government in 2001, she was finally in a position to influence policy on the peace process. Her vision of peace is holistic: "A society where there is no armed conflict, when people’s basic needs are met, children are in school, people have choices and can make choices, women are respected and have the same rights as men, land is distributed fairly, different cultures have full faith and confidence in their place in this country, access to political power is expanded and devolved so our people of diverse cultures and geographical conditions can govern themselves in a way that is most true for them.” Although this may not materialize anytime soon, she says, "Hope is the lifeblood of peace advocacy."

Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) Gaston Z Ortigas Peace Institute Coalition for Peace (CFP)