The President’s Day: November 16, 2011

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Today, President Benigno S. Aquino III again met with U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who had arrived in the Philippines the previous day.

The President received her and her delegation at the Aguinaldo State Dining Room of Malacañan Palace.

With President Aquino were Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa, Jr.; Secretary of Foreign Affairs Albert Del Rosario; Secretary of Finance Cesar Purisima; Secretary of Trade and Industry Gregory Domingo; Secretary of Transportation and Communications Manuel Roxas II; Secretary of National Defense Voltaire Gazmin; Secretary of Justice Leila De Lima; Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process Teresita Quintos-Deles; Secretary of Agriculture Proceso Alcala; Secretary of Socio-Economic Planning Cayetano Paderanga, Jr.; Presidential Spokesperson Edwin Lacierda; National Security Adviser Cesar Garcia; Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Ramon Liwag; Undersecretary Benito Ramos of the NDRRMC; PHL Ambassador to the U.S. Jose Cuisia, Jr.; and Assistant Secretary Patricia Ann Paez of the Office of American Affairs, DFA.

Following the meeting, the President proceeded to the Palace’s Rizal Ceremonial Hall. There, President Aquino conferred the Order of Lakandula with the Rank of Bayani (Grand Cross) to Secretary Clinton.

The Order of Lakandula with the Rank of Bayani is “conferred upon an individual who has devoted his life to the peaceful resolution of conflict; upon an individual whose life is worthy of emulation by the Filipino people; or upon a Crown Prince, Vice President, Senate President, Speaker of the House, Chief Justice or the equivalent, foreign minister or other official of cabinet rank, Ambassador, Undersecretary, Assistant Secretary, or other person of a rank similar or equivalent to the foregoing.” (Ref.)

Deputy Presidential Spokesperson Abigail Valte was the master of ceremonies of the occasion.

After the conferment ceremonies, the President witnessed the signing of the Partnership of Growth with Secretary Clinton and Secretary del Rosario as signatories for the U.S. and the Philippines, respectively.

Afterward, President Aquino and Secretary Clinton engaged in a luncheon held at the President’s Hall.