Home OPINION LORENZANA TO RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS MEDAL FROM U.S.

LORENZANA TO RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS MEDAL FROM U.S.

Senate Concurrent Resolution No. 10 was approved on Wednesday, February 28, 2024, granting consent to former Defense Chief Delfin N. Lorenzana, currently chairman of the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), to receive the United States Special Operations Command Medal (USSOCOM) from the government of the United States of America.

The USSOCOM medal, established in 1994, is an honor reserved for select individuals “for their outstanding contribution to, and support of, special operations around the world during war and peacetime operations.”

The 1987 Constitution provides, in Sec. 8, Art. IX-B, that: “No elective or appointive public officer or employee shall receive additional, double, or indirect compensation, unless specifically authorized by law, nor accept without the consent of the Congress, any present, emolument, office, or title of any kind from any foreign government.”

Senator Joel Villanueva, sponsor of the resolution, hailed Lorenzana’s 35 years of active military service and his distinguished roles in both military and civilian organizations.

Senator Ronald “Bato” Dela Rosa, cosponsor of the resolution, shared his pride in co-sponsoring the acknowledgment of a fellow alumnus from the Philippine Military Academy. He praised Lorenzana’s selfless service, mentioning his vital role at the Office of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C., and his subsequent appointment as the 36th Secretary of National Defense, under President Rodrigo Duterte’s administration. He lauded Lorenzana’s dedication to a modernized Armed Forces, even in the face of the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Other senators, including Senators Win Gatchalian, Pia Cayetano, Robinhood Padilla, and Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, expressed their congratulations and admiration for Secretary Lorenzana. They highlighted his crucial role in the Philippine Defense Ecozone and his relentless pursuit of self-reliance in producing armaments locally. Go particularly emphasized Lorenzana’s dedication, narrating his decision to return to government service while serving as head of the Office of Veterans Affairs at the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C. after retirement from the military service.

As Head of the Office of Veterans Affairs, MGen (Ret.) Lorenzana “played an important role in lobbying for the passage of two landmark US legislations for the Filipino WW2 veterans who served under the US Army in WW2: the Filipino Veterans Equity Compensation Fund in 2009 awarding USD265M to surviving WW2 veterans and the Congressional Gold Medal to Filipino WW2 veterans in 2016.”

The Senate’s unanimous endorsement reflects the collective respect and gratitude for a man whose dedication has left an indelible mark on the nation’s history. To Secretary Lorenzana, with whom I have had the distinct honor of personal and professional engagements, congratulations, Sir!

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