August 17, 2022

PEACE-MAKER

Jose de Venecia Jr.
Former Speaker of the House

Our wife Gina and we are in south of France, on invitation from the celebrated couple, Christian Baverey, scion of an industrialist French family from Lyon, and his Filipino wife, Tetta Agustin, who is highly-regarded in Europe’s prestigious fashion houses and who continues to do active charity work when she and her husband visit the Philippines every year.

This our first trip outside the Philippines after more than two years, since the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the evening we left Manila for Nice, via Dubai, our good friend, business magnate Ramon Ang was conferred the French Legion of Honor, with the rank of Officer, the highest distinction given by the French government.

The award was bestowed on Ramon Ang, vice chairman, president and chief operating officer of San Miguel Corporation, for his invaluable contributions to strengthening ties between France and the Philippines.

Indeed, Don Ramon, as we fondly call him, as a business leader and philanthropist, has been greatly contributing to our country’s, and Asia’s, economic development and in uplifting the lives of many of our countrymen.

He and his company, San Miguel Corporation, have donated some ₱14 billion to our country’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are honored to be in the company of Ramon Ang and several other distinguished Filipinos like Presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Corazon Aquino, Elpidio Quirino, Manuel Quezon, and General and Foreign Minister Carlos P. Romulo, being ourself a recipient of the prestigious French Legion of Honor which was awarded to us in 2005.

The French Legion of Honor is an order of chivalry established by French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is the oldest and highest-ranking medal of honor in France.

*****

We are deeply saddened by the turn of events in Sri Lanka, an emerald country by the banks of the Indian Ocean.

The South Asian country is suffering from its worst economic crisis, leading to skyrocketing prices of goods and services and fuel shortages, among others, that have triggered massive protests that have become violent.

Amid the crisis and chaos, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as acting president.

We conferred with current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s brother, then President Majinda Rajapaksa, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was then an opposition leader, in the country’s capital, Colombo, during the general assembly of our International Conference of Asian Political Parties on September 2014.

Their respective political parties, the then ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the opposition United National Party, which both sit in the governing council of ICAPP, jointly hosted our successful Asia-wide conference.

We remember being joined in our trip to Colombo by our long-time special assistant Aldwin Requejo and by two leading figures in the House of Representatives, Rufus Rodriguez and Mark Cojuangco, who represented their political parties, Centrist Democratic Party and Nationalist People’s Coalition, respectively, and who both addressed the conference.

In Colombo, we also held three years ago the 3rd meeting of the Asia-Europe Political Forum.

We also met former Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, who built a center for all religions, an interfaith park called “Ambuluvawa.” In this park, there is a Buddhist temple, a Christian church, a Hindu kovil, and a Muslim mosque, where people can pray, sing, chant or meditate. And there is only one gate to the park, so everyone, whatever faith or religion, must walk through one gate to enter the places of worship.

Many years ago, we had the privilege of meeting Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who served as prime minister of Sri Lanka for some 18 years and was the world’s first woman prime minister.

Truly, our country, the Philippines, and the international community have profound lessons to learn from the sad turn of events in Sri Lanka.

PEACE-MAKER

Jose de Venecia Jr.
Former Speaker of the House

Our wife Gina and we are in south of France, on invitation from the celebrated couple, Christian Baverey, scion of an industrialist French family from Lyon, and his Filipino wife, Tetta Agustin, who is highly-regarded in Europe’s prestigious fashion houses and who continues to do active charity work when she and her husband visit the Philippines every year.

This our first trip outside the Philippines after more than two years, since the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic.

On the evening we left Manila for Nice, via Dubai, our good friend, business magnate Ramon Ang was conferred the French Legion of Honor, with the rank of Officer, the highest distinction given by the French government.

The award was bestowed on Ramon Ang, vice chairman, president and chief operating officer of San Miguel Corporation, for his invaluable contributions to strengthening ties between France and the Philippines.

Indeed, Don Ramon, as we fondly call him, as a business leader and philanthropist, has been greatly contributing to our country’s, and Asia’s, economic development and in uplifting the lives of many of our countrymen.

He and his company, San Miguel Corporation, have donated some ₱14 billion to our country’s battle against the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are honored to be in the company of Ramon Ang and several other distinguished Filipinos like Presidents Fidel V. Ramos, Corazon Aquino, Elpidio Quirino, Manuel Quezon, and General and Foreign Minister Carlos P. Romulo, being ourself a recipient of the prestigious French Legion of Honor which was awarded to us in 2005.

The French Legion of Honor is an order of chivalry established by French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte in 1802 and is the oldest and highest-ranking medal of honor in France.

*****

We are deeply saddened by the turn of events in Sri Lanka, an emerald country by the banks of the Indian Ocean.

The South Asian country is suffering from its worst economic crisis, leading to skyrocketing prices of goods and services and fuel shortages, among others, that have triggered massive protests that have become violent.

Amid the crisis and chaos, Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has resigned and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been sworn in as acting president.

We conferred with current President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s brother, then President Majinda Rajapaksa, and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, who was then an opposition leader, in the country’s capital, Colombo, during the general assembly of our International Conference of Asian Political Parties on September 2014.

Their respective political parties, the then ruling Sri Lanka Freedom Party and the opposition United National Party, which both sit in the governing council of ICAPP, jointly hosted our successful Asia-wide conference.

We remember being joined in our trip to Colombo by our long-time special assistant Aldwin Requejo and by two leading figures in the House of Representatives, Rufus Rodriguez and Mark Cojuangco, who represented their political parties, Centrist Democratic Party and Nationalist People’s Coalition, respectively, and who both addressed the conference.

In Colombo, we also held three years ago the 3rd meeting of the Asia-Europe Political Forum.

We also met former Prime Minister D.M. Jayaratne, who built a center for all religions, an interfaith park called “Ambuluvawa.” In this park, there is a Buddhist temple, a Christian church, a Hindu kovil, and a Muslim mosque, where people can pray, sing, chant or meditate. And there is only one gate to the park, so everyone, whatever faith or religion, must walk through one gate to enter the places of worship.

Many years ago, we had the privilege of meeting Sirimavo Bandaranaike, who served as prime minister of Sri Lanka for some 18 years and was the world’s first woman prime minister.

Truly, our country, the Philippines, and the international community have profound lessons to learn from the sad turn of events in Sri Lanka.

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