Philippine Ambassador to Australia Ernesto H. De Leon commended Australia for being on the Philippines’ side on its journey to full sovereignty during a Vin d’Honneur he hosted to mark the 112th Anniversary of the Philippines’ Independence.
“In its journey to full sovereignty, the Philippines had on its side its partners in the family of nations, including Australia. The annals of history tell us that the dynamic interaction between the Philippines and Australia began even before the formalization of ties,” Ambassador De Leon said.
Ambassador De Leon went on to say how after sharing over six decades of warm and fruitful relations, the multifaceted partnership of the Philippines and Australia remains “vibrant and robust.”
The Ambassador highlighted the numerous inroads made in Philippine-Australia ties in the past several years such as the exchange of high-level visits, the signing of the Philippines-Australia Status of Visiting Forces Agreement (SOVFA), and the conduct of regular bilateral consultative mechanisms such as the Philippines-Australia Ministerial Meeting (PAMM) and fruitful cooperation in regional and international fora.
He likewise mentioned that Australia has been a long-standing development partner and reiterated the Philippines’ appreciation to the Australian Government for immediately coming to the Philippines’ aid when it was hit by a number of typhoons last year.
Stating that “the heart of the Philippines-Australia friendship is in our people,” Ambassador De Leon also thanked the Australian Government and people for the hospitality and level treatment accorded to the increasing number of Filipino workers in Australia.
Referring to the May 10 polls in the Philippines, he concluded his remarks by saying that “the success of the recent Philippine national elections - our first ever automated elections - and the forthcoming change in leadership in the Philippines will usher in a new chapter in Philippines-Australia cooperation.”
Around 100 guests from the Diplomatic Corps in Canberra and Australian Government attended the event held at the Philippine Ambassador’s Residence.
Ms. Anne Plunkett, Chief of Protocol of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, represented and delivered a toast on behalf of the Australian Government at the event. Officials from the Australian Defense Force, Navy and Airforce were also in attendance.