Thursday, 7 January 2010

AFP honors Ambassador Kenney

Manila Bulletin

In recognition of her efforts in strengthening the bilateral defense ties between the United States and the Philippines, the Armed Forces (AFP) led by its Chief of Staff, Gen. Victor Ibrado on Wednesday paid tribute to outgoing American Ambassador Kristie Kenney in a testimonial parade held at the AFP headquarters in Camp Aguinaldo.

A testimonial parade is normally given only to retiring military officials and visiting dignitaries and heads of states.

Kenney, described as “one of the best ambassadors the Philippines has ever had,” was an exception because of the extraordinary efforts she has made for the country and for transforming the high culture of diplomacy into a hands-on diplomacy and by directly reaching out to the Filipinos.

The AFP also gave a send-off gift to the Ambassador, which Ibrado called as the “Philippine luck” noting that quite a number of American envoys who served in Manila were subsequently promoted to higher positions.

In his speech, the AFP chief noted that as global insurgency, climate change, and problems in the developing world have spawned increasing multilateralism, the challenge confronting nations remain in how to maximize bilateral partnerships to their fullest potential for the mutual benefit of all.

“We are enhancing our defense capabilities in the numerous combined training, exercises and intelligence exchange. The United States is also assisting the Philippines in its military education and equipment requirements, as well as in the government’s socio-economic development program especially in Southern Philippines,” Ibrado said, adding that the US also benefited from its deployment in Mindanao, “gaining valuable operational lessons from its deployment in Mindanao, gaining valuable operational lessons from its Philippine counterparts.”

Ibrado said Kenney, America’s first woman envoy to the Philippines, was being honored for being one of the principal catalysts of the transformed alliance between the two countries.

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