Former PH Defense Officials Receive Medal of Peace from Indonesia


Former National Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana (third from left; seated), former Armed Forces of the Philippines Chief of Staff Ret. Gen. Cirilito E. Sobejana (fourth from right; seated) were conferred with the meritorious Medal of Peace by Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Agus Widjojo, on behalf of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, on 03 August 2022 at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Manila. (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Embassy)

MANILA 05 August 2022 – Former Secretary of National Defense Delfin N. Lorenzana and former Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff General Cirilito E. Sobejana (Ret.) formally received the prestigious Medal of Peace from Indonesian President Joko Widodo at a conferment ceremony held on 03 August 2022 at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Manila.

The two former defense officials are the first Filipino recipients of the meritorious Medal of Peace award in view of their instrumental role in the successful rescue and recovery of Indonesian nationals who were taken hostage by the terrorist Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) in 2019. A total of 49 AFP personnel who assisted in the rescue and release of the Indonesian kidnap victims from the ASG were conferred with the Dharma Defense Medals.

In his acceptance speech, former Defense Secretary and now Bases Conversion and Development Authority Chair Lorenzana highlighted the effective defense security cooperation between the Philippines and Indonesia, including through the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement between the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia, in preventing kidnap-for-ransom activities in the Sulu Sea. Since the recovery of Indonesian kidnap victims, there have been no abductions by the ASG.

The conferment of Indonesian awards not only cements further the Philippines’ bilateral ties with Indonesia, an important and reliable bilateral and regional partner, but also serves as a high-water mark in the defense and security cooperation of the two countries.

Acting Undersecretary for Civilian Concerns and Consular Affairs Jesus S. Domingo and Asian and Pacific Affairs Acting Head of Office Maria Anna Lilia De Vera-Schinazi witnessed the awarding ceremony.

The Department of Foreign Affairs facilitated the Congressional approval for the conferment of awards. END