The Philippine Army has expressed its pride and admiration for Captain Marie Elaine M. Ibañez, who received three prestigious awards in the field of cybersecurity and security leadership.
Captain Ibañez was honored with the Country Award (Philippines), Cybersecurity Award, and the Top Woman in Security in the ASEAN Region in the Top Women in Security Awards 2023, which was held online on September 18, 2023.
The Top Women in Security Awards is an annual event that recognizes and celebrates the achievements of women who have made significant contributions to the security industry in the ASEAN region. The awards are organized by the ASEAN Security Forum, a non-profit organization that promotes security awareness and collaboration among stakeholders in the region.
Captain Ibañez is the head of the Cybersecurity Division of the Philippine Army, where she leads a team of experts who protect the Army’s information systems and networks from cyber threats. She is also a certified ethical hacker, a certified information systems security professional, and a certified information security manager.
She has been instrumental in developing and implementing the Army’s cybersecurity strategy, policies, and standards, as well as conducting cyber operations, audits, and training. She has also initiated and participated in various cybersecurity projects and initiatives with local and international partners, such as the Philippine National Police, the Department of Information and Communications Technology, the United States Army Cyber Command, and the ASEAN Cybersecurity Center.
Captain Ibañez said that she was humbled and grateful for the recognition, which she dedicated to her family, mentors, colleagues, and fellow women in security. She also said that she hoped to inspire more women to pursue careers in cybersecurity and security leadership, which are still male-dominated fields.
“I am very thankful to the Philippine Army for giving me the opportunity to serve our country and our people through cybersecurity. I am also very proud to represent our country and our region in this global platform. I hope that my story will encourage more women to join the security industry and to excel in their chosen fields,” she said.
The Philippine Army Commanding General, Lieutenant General Cirilito E. Sobejana, congratulated Captain Ibañez for her remarkable achievements and commended her for bringing honor and glory to the Army and the nation.
“Captain Ibañez is a shining example of a Filipino soldier who is not only brave and loyal, but also innovative and competent. She has proven that women can excel in any field of endeavor, especially in cybersecurity and security leadership, which are vital for our national security and development. We are very proud of her and we salute her for her outstanding performance,” he said.
The Philippine Army also said that it will continue to support and empower its female personnel, who comprise about 10 percent of its total force. It said that it will provide them with equal opportunities for career advancement, professional development, and personal growth.
The Army also said that it will strengthen its cybersecurity capabilities and readiness, as part of its modernization program and its commitment to protect the country from cyber threats.