Three Swiss nationals conferred with Presidential
Medal of Merit
(3) Swiss nationals were conferred the Philippine Presidential Medal of
Merit for their significant contributions towards recovering the amount
of over USD 684 million, the largest amount recovered to date from the
illicit assets of the Marcos’ family and their cronies.
The Swiss nationals were Mr. Guy Fontanet, former Member of the Swiss
Federal Parliament; Mr. Moritz Leuenberger, former Federal Councillor
and President of the Swiss Confederation; and Dr. Sergio Salvioni,
former Member of the Swiss Federal Parliament.
Amb. Baja poses with the awardees
three awardees were conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit
specifically, for the legal assistance they had extended that led to
the successful discovery, freezing, and eventual recovery of ill-gotten
wealth of the Marcoses, which were deposited in Swiss banks and other
financial institutions, and for contributing towards the restoration of
democracy and upholding justice and human rights in the
In a ceremony held at the Philippine Embassy in Berne on 11 February
2014, Philippine Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein,
Ambassador Leslie Baja, on behalf of President Benigno Aquino III,
conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit on the three Swiss nationals,
whose dedication and commitment made possible the recovery from Swiss
banks of Marcos’ ill-gotten wealth.
Amb. Baja delivers his message during the awarding ceremony
The ceremony was also attended by
friends and family members of the awardees, as well as officials from
various Swiss government agencies, including the Federal Department of
Foreign Affairs, and former Swiss ambassadors to the Philippines.
“To Mr. Fontanet, to former Federal Councillor Leuenberger, and to Dr.
Salvioni, please accept my President’s sincere appreciation and the
Filipino people’s immense gratitude for assisting the Philippines. This
is a valuable contribution which will forever be part of Philippine
history,” said Ambassador Baja during his welcome message.
Baja poses with Mr. Benedict Fontanet
Amb. Baja with Mr. Moritz Leuenberger
(3rd from right), who represented his father
Mr. Guy Fontanet.
Baja with Mr. Salvioni and his
The awardees pose with the Philippine Embassy
Presidential Medal of Medal, which was established in 1949, is
conferred upon individuals, Filipinos and foreigners alike, in
recognitThe passage of the Compensation Act for the Victims of Human
Rights Violations on 25 February 2013, the 27th anniversary of the
People Power/EDSA Revolution, will see the award of Php10 billion to
the victims which will be sourced from the recovered assets from
“It is our hope that the awarding of the compensation to the human
rights victims ⦋of the Martial Law regime⦌ will be concluded soon so
that the recovery of the ill-gotten wealth in Switzerland will be a
lasting testament to both our countries’ commitment to human rights,
democracy, social justice and the rule of law,” concluded Ambassador