Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. on Friday described outgoing US Ambassador to Manila Sung Kim as one of the best American envoys, as he praised his way of boosting the two nations’ relations in the past four years.
“Flat out the best US ambassador, including the Long Peace of the Cold War. Holding firm to American principles and key interests, he understood us, especially this President with whom he worked fabulously well even in tempestuous circumstances, like old friends pulling in opposite directions,” Locsin said in a tweet.
At the State Department, Kim was hailed for his “outstanding managerial skills, open interpersonal style, and demonstrated ability to engage productively on sensitive and complex policy issues and priorities.”
Kim, who assumed his position as the United States’ ambassador to the Philippines in 2016, is ending his tour of duty this year.
For four years, he oversaw various engagements between Manila and Washington, from its partnership to end the Marawi Siege to the historic return of the Balangiga bells to fighting the pandemic.
“Time and time again, I was amazed at what Americans and Filipinos could achieve together. When I depart, I will take with me many indelible memories,” Kim said in a letter dated October 1.
Recalling his visits to different regions in the past four years, he said he saw firsthand the “positive impact” US companies are making by investing in their Filipino workforce.
“In the face of the pandemic, US companies stood by their Philippine partners, providing medical supplies, IT support, and food for front-liners. The US government has provided more than PHP1 billion to support Philippine government Covid-19 efforts, including the recent donation of state-of-the-art ventilators manufactured in the United States,” Kim said.
He also praised the alumni of several American education programs, pinning his hopes on the Filipino youth to continue advancing the US-Philippines alliance.
“Whether watching college basketball, meeting Filipino youth, or traveling to stunning destinations, I’ve been inspired and energized by the promise of this dynamic country and the depth of our special partnership. The next time I wear a barong, enjoy lechon, crispy tilapia, or buko pandan with my wife and daughters, we will remember with fondness the wonderful friendships we made here,” Kim said.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve in the Philippines these past four years. With profound gratitude, I bid the Philippines and my Filipino friends farewell and say maraming, maraming salamat, and until next time – hanggang sa muli.”
Ambassador Kim has more than three decades of East Asia regional experience, including serving as ambassador to Korea from 2011 to 2014. He also served as the Special Envoy for the Six-Party Talks with the rank of Ambassador.
Last year, Kim was nominated to serve as the next US ambassador to Indonesia. PNA.GOV.PH