News Release

President Duterte welcomes new envoys

President Rodrigo Roa Duterte receives the credentials of Ambassador of Lao People's Democratic Republic to the Philippines Songkane Luangmuninthone during a ceremony at the Malacañan Palace on March 19, 2019. KING RODRIGUEZ/PRESIDENTIAL PHOTO

MALACAÑANG — President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on Tuesday, March 19, received the credentials of five new ambassadors to the Philippines.

First to present his credentials was Ambassador Songkane Luangmuninthone of Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

During the ceremony at the Reception Hall of Malacañan Palace, the President expressed his gratitude for the kindness of Lao people, citing their hosting of some Filipinos in their country.

The envoy, for his part, said he would do his utmost best to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries and the relations with the members of ASEAN.

Before his appointment to Manila, the ambassador was the Director General of the Economic Affairs Department, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and concurrently the Lao Senior Official for various inter-regional, intra-regional, and sub-regional cooperation frameworks between 2015 to 2018.

Ambassador Artemiz Sümer of the Republic of Turkey also submitted her credentials.

The President said the envoy is most welcome in her tour of duty in Manila.

Ambassador Sümer then conveyed Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s sincere wishes for the prosperity of the Filipinos and President Duterte’s health and happiness.

She also conveyed the Turkish President’s congratulations for the ratification of the Bangsamoro Organic Law and the establishment of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority.

Prior to her designation to the Philippines, the ambassador was appointed as Ambassador of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Next to submit her credentials was Ambassador Saskia (Elisabeth) de Lang of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The President expressed hopes that the ambassador’s stay in the Philippines would be very successful.

He also offered condolences to the Netherlands for the attack on one of its trams where three of its citizens died.

The Dutch ambassador thanked the President for his kind words and compassion.

She then mentioned the joint projects undertaken by the two countries, such as on economics, solution for environmental issues, and fight against human trafficking and child abuse.

“And I think that there are many more areas where we can work together and that is what I would like to do in the years ahead to seek more common ground,” she said.

She was previously appointed as Ambassador to the Republic of Congo and Head of the EU Delegation in Brazzaville before his appointment to the Philippines.

Ambassador Betty Palaso of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea also presented her credentials to the President.

The President welcomed the envoy and expressed his warm greetings to their head of state Queen Elizabeth II.

Ambassador Palaso served as Commissioner General of the Internal Revenue Commission from February 2007 to September 2018.

Last to present his credentials was Ambassador Gerard Ho Wei Hong of the Republic of Singapore.

President Duterte expressed hopes that the stay of the envoy would be productive. He said the Philippines needs a lot of advice from Singapore “to help us solve our problems, especially water.”

The ambassador, for his part, affirmed the “very strong and excellent bilateral relations” between the Philippines and Singapore.

“We look forward to commemorating the 50th anniversary of our bilateral relations this year,” he said.

He was Director-General of the ASEAN Directorate from January 2015 to February 2019.

The President met with each ambassador at the Music Room after the submission of their respective credentials.###PND