DFA defends conferment of diplomatic merit to Zhao

MANILAForeign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Friday defended the awarding of the Order of Sikatuna to outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Manila Zhao Jianhua, adding he was the one who proposed the conferment.

The clarification came as retired Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio questioned the move amid Manila's territorial dispute with Beijing in the West Philippine Sea.

"That was my strong and insistent proposal and I wouldn't take no for an answer. The Palace protocol gave in and told him," Locsin said on his official Twitter account.

"Zhao and I have had great intellectual duels. Honor your foe honor yourself. I disdain sissies. We fight fiercely rationally for our countries," he added.

READ: Duterte thanks Zhao role in PH-China 'stronger' ties

President Rodrigo Duterte conferred the Order of Sikatuna with the Rank of Datu on Zhao during his farewell call at the MalacaAang Palace on October 28.

During that meeting, President Duterte thanked Zhao for his role in improving the ties between China and the Philippines.

President Duterte, whose independent foreign policy, drove the Philippines closer to the Asian economic giant, wished Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua good luck in his next assignment as China's ambassador, MalacaAang said in a recent statement. (PNA)

Source: Philippines News Agency