Sponsorship Speech for 6 Ambassadors and Chief of Mission

Justice

The CA Committee on Foreign Affairs chaired by Sen. Lacson took up the appointments of:

Leah Basinang-Ruiz: Ambassador to Poland with jurisdiction over Georgia and Ukraine; Estonia; Latvia; and Lithuania.

Alex Garcia Chua: Ambassador to Kenya with jurisdiction over Burundi, Union of the Comoros, Congo, Malawi, Rwanda, Seychelles, Somalia, Tanzania, Uganda, and South Sudan; and Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).

Ma. Theresa Dizon-de Vega: Ambassador to Germany.

Raul Salavaria Hernandez: Ambassador to Turkey with jurisdiction over Georgia and Azerbaijan.

Leo M. Herrera-Lim: Ambassador to Denmark.

Jesus Santos Domingo: Ambassador to New Zealand, with jurisdiction over Fiji, Tonga, and Samoa including Cook Islands.

Henry S. Bensurto, Jr.: Chief of Mission, Class I.

Mr. Chairman, distinguished colleagues, your Committee on Foreign Affairs conducted a public hearing this morning to deliberate on the nominations of six Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Department of Foreign Affairs and the ad interim appointment of one Chief of Mission, Class I.

After deliberating on the qualifications and fitness of the said officials during the public hearing, the Committee has determined that they are fit and qualified to be in the posts where they are nominated and appointed, and therefore ruled to recommend to the plenary their nominations and appointment for the consent of the body.

It is therefore my honor and privilege to recommend that the Commission give its consent to the nominations of the following senior officers of the Department, namely:


LEAH BASINANG-RUIZ. She is a reputed officer of the DFA. She joined the Department in 1987 as a Foreign Service Officer immediately after passing the FSO Examination the previous year, where she ranked second place. In 2004, she also passed the Career Ministers’ Examination with flying colors by placing second.

For 31 years, she has worked her way up in the DFA organizational hierarchy and assumed significant positions overseas, including the Philippine Embassies/Consulates in Wellington, New Zealand; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Canberra, Australia; Berlin, Federal Republic of Germany; and, Lebanon, where she earned the distinction as the first female Philippine Ambassador from 2011 to 2016.

As the Chief Coordinator of the Office of the Secretary from July 2016 to April 2018, she contributed to the success of the Philippines’ historic chairmanship and hosting of ASEAN in 2017. At present, she is the Assistant Secretary of the DFA’s Department Legislative Liaison Unit.

Mr. Chairman, it is my distinct privilege and honor to recommend that this body give its consent to the appointment of MS. LEAH BASINANG-RUIZ as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Poland with concurrent jurisdiction over Georgia and the Republic of Ukraine, and the Republic of Estonia, the Republic of Latvia, and the Republic of Lithuania.

I so move, Mr. Chairman.

Our next nominee is MR. ALEX GARCIA CHUA. His diplomatic career started as a Record Clerk and Assistant in the DFA’s Office of Cultural Affairs. For 40 years, he has served in the Department in various capacities, most significant of which were his posts as Charge d’Affaires and later, Deputy Chief of Mission in Beijing, China and consequently, as the Philippine Ambassador to Myanmar.

Our nominee was recognized by the Guangdong Provincial Government Foreign Affairs Office as the first diplomat to have assumed three consular positions in a single Post – as Consul, Deputy Consul General and Consul General in the Philippine Consulate General’s office in Guangzhou, China. As Ambassador to Myanmar, he has been cited for major economic activities that promoted bilateral trades and investments between the host country and the Philippines.

For such an exemplary service, he was given a Loyalty Award in his 30th year in DFA in July 2008. More so, in his current capacity as the Assistant Secretary of the Office of Financial Management Services, he managed to secure the DFA’s first ISO Certification (9001:2015).

Mr. Chairman, it is my distinct privilege and honor to recommend that this body give its consent to the appointment of MR. ALEX GARCIA CHUA as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Kenya, with concurrent jurisdiction over the Republic of Burundi, Union of the Comoros, Republic of the Congo, Republic of Malawi, Republic of Rwanda, Republic of Seychelles, Federal Republic of Somalia, United Republic of Tanzania, Republic of Uganda, and Republic of South Sudan, and as Permanent Representative to the United Nations Environmental Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-HABITAT).

I so move, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, our third nominee, MS. MA. THERESA B. DIZON-DE VEGA, has been in the Philippine foreign service for 24 years. She topped the examinations for foreign service officers in 1994 and also ranked third in her Career Minister Examinations in 2007. From being the Principal Assistant at the Office of the Undersecretary for Policy in 1995, she remarkably assumed significant posts in the home office such as the Officer-in-Charge of the Undersecretary for Administration and concurrently, as the Chief Coordinator of the Office of the Secretary.

Her overseas posts, particularly at the Philippine Embassies/Consulates in Mexico, Hong Kong, London, United Kingdom and New York, U.S.A. also added to her exemplary credentials. In 2007, she was conferred with the Order of Lakandula, Rank of Pinuno, a Medal of Civic Merit by the Government of Spain and Gawad Mabini, Rank of Dakilang Kasugo. She was likewise distinguished with the Order of Sikatuna, Rank of Dakilang Kasugo or Gold Distinction in 2016.

Mr. Chairman, it is my honor and privilege to recommend that this body give its consent to the appointment of MS. MA. THERESA B. DIZON-DE VEGA as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Federal Republic of Germany.

I so move, Mr. Chairman.

Our fourth nominee is MR. RAUL SALAVARIA HERNANDEZ.

Our nominee is a man of many hats — he worked as an educator who taught English and Social Ethics. He served as a parish priest of Mapanas, Northern Samar; he later became Vice-Chancellor/Oeconomous/Director of Vocations of the Diocese of Catarman; and finally, a diplomat for 24 years.

He has risen from the ranks and served in various foreign postings which include the Republic of Korea, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, Gulf States, Canada and China. Mr. Hernandez also served as the DFA Spokesperson from July 2011 to May 2014. Among his many commendations were the Department of National Defense and the National Defense College of the Philippines’ Most Outstanding Alumnus Award in 2010; Gawad Mabini award with the rank of Grand Cross or Dakilang Kamanong in 2013; and Asia’s Society Korea’s Ambassador of the Year in 2016.

Mr. Chairman, it is my distinct privilege and honor to recommend that this body give its consent to the appointment of MR. RAUL SALAVARIA HERNANDEZ as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Republic of Turkey with concurrent jurisdiction over Georgia and the Republic of Azerbaijan.

I so move, Mr. Chairman.

Mr. Chairman, our next nominee is MR. LEO M. HERRERA-LIM.

Prior to his nomination to an ambassadorial posting to the Kingdom of Denmark, Mr. Herrera-Lim has assumed significant posts at the Philippine Embassies in Washington D.C., USA and London, United Kingdom, and at the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago, Illinois and Los Angeles, California.

He served both as Chairman and Philippine Representative to the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights (AICHR) where he was credited for the accomplishment of AICHR’s mission, particularly in the completion of thematic studies on ASEAN women in Disaster, Child’s Rights and Education Promotion and the Regional Action Plan in Mainstreaming Persons with Disabilities and the implementation of the ASEAN Convention Against Trafficking in Persons (ACTIP) which had recently entered into force.

It was during the nominee’s chairmanship of the AICHR that he was commended by his fellow diplomats in the ASEAN. Singaporean Representative Dr. Shashi Jayakumar of the ASEAN Inter-governmental Commission on Human Rights described the nominee’s leadership of AICHR as “a tough act to follow,” describing his chairmanship as one “which is of a substantive forward looking role considering the diversity of cultures and history among ASEAN member countries.” Kuala Lumpur Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman remarked that he is a diplomat with “able and visionary leadership.” And finally, no less than Los Angeles Deputy Consul General Imelda Panolong mentioned that he is “one of the brilliant minds in the DFA.”

Mr. Chairman, it is my distinct privilege and honor to recommend that this body give its consent to the appointment of MR. LEO M. HERRERA-LIM as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Kingdom of Denmark.

I so move, Mr. Chairman.

Our sixth nominee is MR. JESUS SANTOS DOMINGO. Mr. Domingo started his diplomatic career in 1990 as Director of the Middle East and Organization of the Islamic Conference Affairs. He rose through the ranks and served in various positions overseas such as New York, U.S.A.; Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; and, Geneva, Switzerland. For 28 years, he has ably served the Department and has been credited for various diplomatic undertakings, most relevant of which was his stint as Minister, in charge of Humanitarian and Disarmament Affairs of the Philippine Mission to the United Nations in Geneva.

Mr. Domingo received numerous recognitions such as Outstanding Graduate Award, AFP Reserve Officers Training Corps in 2014; Outstanding Achievement Medal, the highest Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary Award; and U.S. State Honorary Ranks: General (in Washington), Colonel (in Kentucky), Admiral (in Alabama), and Traveller (in Arkansas), to name a few.

Mr. Chairman, to this end, it is my distinct privilege and honor to recommend that this body give its consent to the appointment of MR. JESUS SANTOS DOMINGO as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to New Zealand, with concurrent jurisdiction over the Republic of Fiji, the Kingdom of Tonga, and the Independent State of Samoa to include Cook Islands.

I so move, Mr. Chairman.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, it is my privilege to recommend for the approval of the body the ad interim appointment of MR. HENRY S. BENSURTO, JR.

Mr. Bensurto, a lawyer by profession, has served the Department for 27 years. He has been lauded for his efforts as the Head of the DFA Legal Team on West Philippine Sea Issue, and as Critical Member of the Philippine Delegation to the Hague during the Arbitration versus China from 2013 to 2016.

Among his important foreign posts were at the Philippine Embassies in Singapore and Washington, D.C., and the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco, U.S.A.

Among his many commendations were two Presidential Awards, the Gawad Mabini with the Rank of Commander and the Order of Lakandula with the Rank of Grand Officer, the 2016 Torch Bearer Award from the Philippine-American Press Club-USA, and the Outstanding Achievement Award by the Integrated Bar of the Philippines.

Mr. Chairman, it is my privilege to recommend the approval of the ad interim appointment of MR. HENRY S. BENSURTO, JR. as Chief of Mission, Class I.

I so move, Mr. Chairman.


pinglacson.net uses cookies to give you a better navigation experience on our site. As soon as you continue the tour, we assume you accept the cookies policy. Learn more about the cookie policy we use here.