Duterte confers Order of Sikatuna on US envoy Sung Kim

Arianne Merez, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 07 2020 09:33 PM | Updated as of Sep 08 2020 12:51 PM

President Rodrigo Duterte confers the Order of Sikatuna on US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim on the envoy’s farewell call at the Malago Clubhouse in Malacañang, September 7, 2020. Ace Morandante, Presidential Photo

MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte honored on Monday outgoing US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim after a nearly 4-year tour of duty in the Philippines.

Duterte conferred on the departing US envoy the Order of Sikatuna with the rank of Datu during Kim's farewell call in Malacañang.

The Order of Sikatuna is an order of diplomatic merit conferred upon individuals who have rendered exceptional service to the Philippines.

"The President expressed appreciation for Ambassador Kim’s vital contributions in strengthening the alliance and partnership between the Philippines and the United States," Malacañang said in a statement.

Kim, for his part, assured Duterte of Washington's commitment as an ally of Manila.

The US, during Kim's stint in Manila, made the historic return of the Balangiga bells in 2018.

Kim's next tour of duty will be in Indonesia.