MANILA -- President Rodrigo Duterte conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the Rank of Grand Cross (Datu) Gold Distinction on South Korea's Ambassador to the Philippines Kim Jae-Shin during a farewell call in MalacaAan Palace on Monday, January 8, thanking the envoy for his contributions in forging stronger Philippine-South Korea relations.
President Duterte said South Korea and the Philippines have been friends for a long time and expressed his gratitude to one of Asia's economic powerhouses for its continuing assistance to the country.
Ambassador Kim was specifically awarded the Order of Sikatuna for his significant role in strengthening and deepening relations between the Philippines and South Korea.
He was also cited for facilitating South Korea's timely assistance for the victims of the conflict in Marawi City and for assisting cooperation agreements and projects supporting the Philippines.
The envoy was also commended for his efforts in bringing closer the peoples of the Philippines and South Korea.
The Order of Sikatuna is an order of diplomatic merit conferred upon individuals who have rendered exceptional and meritorious services to the Republic of the Philippines.
It is conferred upon diplomats, officials, and nationals of foreign states who have rendered conspicuous service in fostering, developing, and strengthening relations between their country and the Philippines; or upon personnel of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), both in the home office and in the foreign service.
Together with the Philippine Legion of Honor and the Order of Lakandula, the Order of Sikatuna is one of the three senior honors of the Republic.
Kim, who served in the country for less than three years, will return to South Korea after his tenure in the Philippines.
Present during the simple ceremony were Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Bong Go and Foreign Affairs Assistant Secretary Millicent Cruz-Paredes.
Accompanying Ambassador Kim were his spouse, Madame Lee Jongmin, and Embassy Ministers-Counselor Park Younghyo and Song Areum.
Following the event, the President presided over the 21st Cabinet meeting at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of the MalacaAan Palace.
Source: Philippine News Agency