By Genalyn Kabiling
Six senior officials of the Department of Foreign of Affairs (DFA) have joined the prestigious roster of Gawad Mabini awardees for their exemplary service in advancing the interest and sovereignty of the nation.
President Duterte paid tribute to Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo and five other foreign affairs officials during the awarding ceremony held in Malacañang last Wednesday night.
The Gawad Mabini with the rank of Dakilang Kamanong (Grand Cross) were conferred on Manalo, Ambassador Elizabeth Buensuceso, Consul General Adelio Angelito Cruz, and Ambassador Mario de Leon Jr.
Vice Consul Theodore Andrei Bauzon and Director Ryan Francis Gener were given the Gawad Mabini with the rank of Dakilang Kasugo (Commander).
The Gawad Mabini is given to Filipinos who rendered distinguished foreign service or helped promote the interests and prestige of the Philippine abroad. The award was established by Presidential Decree No. 490 in 1974 in honor of Apolinario Mabini, the country’s first foreign affairs secretary.
In his remarks, the President lauded the DFA officials for their work in advancing the country’s independent foreign policy as well as in looking after the rights and welfare of Filipinos abroad.
He said strengthening foreign relations is not only a sign of goodwill but ensures that opportunities for trade and commerce, national security and cooperation, will prosper among nations.
“Thank you for upholding and promoting our country’s independent foreign policy, strongly founded on our national interest and carried out through the diversification of our international ties to secure our political, economic, and socio-cultural objectives,” he said.
“Your unwavering dedication has enabled our country to achieve major foreign policy and national economic goals,” he added.
Duterte also praised the DFA officials’ efforts that “safeguarded and promoted the welfare and the rights of Filipinos residing abroad.”
“May you continue your exemplary service in advancing the interest and sovereignty of our nation,” he said.
Duterte admitted in jest that he was “very proud” of the DFA officials since he has never received any medal in his life.
“May mga tao talagang mas may abilidad kaysa sa iyo, parang ganun. And maski wala akong award, ako na lang ang taga-bigay ng award [There are people who more ability than you. Even if I don’t have any award, I will be just give the award],” he said.
Tags: 6 DFA officials awarded Gawad Mabini, Adelio Angelito Cruz, DFA, DFA officials, exemplary service, Gawad Mabini, independent foreign policy, Manila Bulletin, national interest, Ryan Francis Gener, Theodore Andrei Bauzon
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