MANILA — Imelda Marcos, former First Lady and wife of the late dictator Ferdinand Marcos, was recognized, along with 9 other "laureates," for "fostering and promoting understanding" between Philippines and China.
The award was given by the Association for Philippines-China Understanding (APCU) and the Chinese Embassy in the Philippines.
"As a novel award-giving body, APPCU pays special tribute to Filipinos who have made efforts through time in strengthening friendly ties and promoting mutual understanding between the Philippines and China using their respective advocacies and expertise in the various fields and disciplines," APCU said, an initiative launched in January this year.
Marcos was recognized under the "Hall of Fame category" which acknowledges the "prestige and stature of the individual."
Nine other individuals were recognized, namely:
• Former special envoy of the Philippines to China and Philippine Silkroad International Chamber of Commerce Chairman Francis Chua (Hall of Fame category)
• Philippine Association for Chinese Studies President Rommel Banlaoi (Outstanding Contributions category)
• Global Talk News Radio Herman Laurel (Outstanding Contributions category)
• Kaisa Para Sa Kaunlaran, Inc. founder Teresita Ang-See (Outstanding Contributions category)
• Confucius Institute UP Diliman Director Dr. Lourdes Tanhueco-Nepomuceno (Outstanding Contributions category)
• Founding President of Peking University Overseas Students’ Alumni Association Jaime FlorCruz
• University of San Agustin’s College professor Mario Leonardo Emilio Aportadera (Major Contributions category)
• President and Editor-In-Chief of Sovereignph.com Adolfo Paglinawan (Major Contributions category)
• 51Talk Brand Ambassador John Nicolo Fernandez (Major Contributions category)
Awardees under the Major Contributions and Outstanding Contributions categories will be given prize money.
The Philippines and China remain locked in a maritime dispute.
A UN-backed arbitration court invalidated China's sweeping claims over almost the entire South China Sea in a ruling in 2016. Beijing continues to disregard it.
The West Philippine Sea is the Philippines' exclusive economic zone in the South China Sea.
Due to China's aggression in the disputed waters, the US military has aggressively ramped up its presence in the area, calling it an exercise of freedom of navigation.