MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Monday congratulated outgoing US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim on his successful tour of duty, saying the Philippines and US marked “important milestones” during his almost four-year stint.
In a statement from the Office of the President, Duterte extended his best wishes to Kim during the farewell call at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang on Monday.
Duterte expressed appreciation for Kim’s vital contributions in strengthening the alliance and partnership between the two countries.
During Kim’s stint, the Philippines-US relations marked important milestones, particularly the historic return of the Balangiga Bells to the Diocese of Borongan, Eastern Samar in December 2018.
In 2017, the US was also able to work with the Armed Forces of the Philippines in ending the terror siege in Marawi.
The Philippines, in the same year, chaired the Association of Southeast Asian Nations Summit where US President Donald Trump visited Manila for the first time.
Cooperation in various areas of shared interest, especially in defense and security, trade and investments, and people-to-people exchanges likewise expanded.
Duterte conferred on Kim the Order of Sikatuna, with the rank of Datu (Grand Cross), Gold Distinction.
Kim thanked Duterte for a productive bilateral engagement with the Philippines.
The US remains committed to the alliance and partnership with the Philippines that are based on shared values and meaningful history, he added. (PNA)