President Rodrigo Roa Duterte led the conferment Monday of the Order of Sikatuna and Gawad Mabini Decorations on several officials and personnel from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) in recognition of their exemplary service to the people and nation.
“Your unwavering sense of duty and unrelenting efforts have contributed much in upholding our country’s independent foreign policy and in ensuring the welfare of Filipinos at home and abroad,” President Duterte said during the conferment ceremony at the Reception Hall in Malacañang.
The awardees have contributed in real terms to securing the national security and political, economic and socio-cultural goals of the Philippines, and to furthering international amity and cooperation, he stressed.
The President said he is honored and humbled to recognize distinguished members of the Philippine Foreign Service who have been brave in facing severe difficulties — including mortal challenges — principled in advancing the country’s foreign policy, and creative in solving seemingly vexing problems.
“With the weight of Apolinario Mabini’s legacy on your shoulders and the interests of our nation in your minds and deeds — you have done our nation proud,” he noted.
“It is my fervent hope that you and your colleagues in the Philippine Foreign Service will continue to serve the Philippines to the best of your ability and without reservation.”
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. Along with the Philippine Legion of Honor and the Order of Lakandula, it is one of three senior honors of the Philippines.
Gawad Mabini, on the other hand, is named after Apolinario Mabini, the first secretary of foreign affairs in the First Republic of the Philippines.
It is conferred on Filipinos who have rendered distinguished foreign service, or helped promote the interests and prestige of the Philippines abroad. PND