(Remarks of Dr. Alberto G. Romulo, Secretary of Foreign Affairs, on the occasion of the dinner hosted by former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban in honor of H.E. Archbishop Edward J. Adams, Apostolic Nuncio to the Philippines and Dean of Diplomatic Corps, 11 February 2008)
I am pleased and honored to join you this evening.
I thank former Chief Justice Artemio Panganiban for this gracious invitation.
Cited by his colleagues in the Supreme Court as “the 21st Century’s Renaissance Jurist,” the former Chief Justice has had an enviable judicial record noteworthy for its independence, integrity and erudition.
Among the many honors he had received in the past was his appointment by the late Pope John Paul II as the only Filipino to serve in the Pontifical Council for the laity for the term 1996 to 2001.
As our host this evening, former Chief Justice Panganiban has drawn us all together to honor the Papal Nuncio His Excellency, Most Reverend Edward Joseph Adams as well as members of the diplomatic corps of which the Papal Nuncio is Dean.
His Excellency’s journey is a tale that is mirrored in the careers of our equally distinguished members of the diplomatic corps.
Since joining the Diplomatic Service of the Holy See in 1976, His Excellency was in the Pontifical Missions in Rwanda, then successively at the Apostolic Nunciatures in Kenya, Honduras, Ireland, Denmark and the Czech Republic.
He was appointed Apostolic Nuncio to Bangladesh in 1996 and to Zimbabwe in 2002. Now we are happy and honored with His Excellency as Papal Nuncio to the Philippines.
Tonight, therefore, I take this opportunity to thank the diplomatic corps – headed by Your Excellency – and the legal community of the Philippines – lead by former Chief Justice Panganiban – for your contributions to our nation’s interest and well-being.
Indeed, diplomacy is an essential tool for consolidating support and generating consensus in the collective growth and stability of nations.
And adherence to the rule of law – both international and domestic – is the foundation stone upon which we build a more peaceful, progressive and prosperous world.
Both diplomacy and the rule of law have brought the stakeholders of Mindanao to the negotiating table.
Through diplomacy – supported by our friends in the international community – we worked towards the successful conclusion of the GRP-MNLF Agreement to bring peace and silence the guns in Mindanao.