Malaysian Armed Forces Chief receives Legion of Honor

THE Chief of Defense Forces of the Malaysian Armed Forces (MAF), General Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Zulkifeli Bin Mohd Zin received the Philippine Legion of Honor, the highest award the President can bestow without the need for approval of Congress, Wednesday at the Department of National Defense (DND) Social Hall.

On behalf of President Benigno S. Aquino, Secretary Gazmin awarded the medal to General Zulkifeli for his outstanding leadership and commitment towards more strengthened bilateral military relations with the Philippines.

Last September, Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) Chief of Staff, General Jessie D. Dellosa was awarded the Honorary Malaysian Armed Forces Order for Valour which is given only to top Malaysian military officers. This was during the 79th Anniversary celebration of MAF on September 24 held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

In his visit at Camp Aguinaldo last Wednesday, Zulkifeli met with General Dellosa, the AFP Vice Chief of Staff, Lt. Gen. Noel Coballes, and the J-Staff of the AFP. He also met with Secretary Gazmin in the DND building afterwards.

Zulkifeli also visited the 6th Infantry Division, Philippine Army in Maguindanao last Thursday where he met with its Commanding General Maj. Gen. Caesar Ronnie Ordoyo. He also paid a visit to the International Monitoring Team (IMT) – Mindanao Headquarters in Cotabato City where he served as commander from October 2004 to August 2005. The IMT monitors the ongoing peace process between the Philippine Government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).

Yesterday, Zulkifeli arrived at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) in Baguio City where he received Arrival Honors headed by the PMA Superintendent, Lt. Gen. Irineo Espino. He toured the military school’s facilities before witnessing the parade and review in his honor. He is set to leave the country today.

The Philippines currently has an enduring partnership with the Malaysian government. In 1994, both countries signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Defense Cooperation aimed at promoting strong bilateral military and defense cooperation.

“The Armed Forces of the Philippines is committed towards promoting and enhancing regional peace and security which is why we are undertaking these high-level visits aimed at further strengthening our bilateral relationship with other countries’ military,” Dellosa said.

“We are confident that with a stronger bilateral relationship with our Malaysian counterpart and other neighboring countries, more opportunities for security cooperation and peace and development programs will emerge to benefit the people in the region,” Dellosa added.

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