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Three Swiss nationals conferred with Presidential
Medal of Merit

Three (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

The 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 Philippines. 

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

“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. 

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.

 
                      Amb. Baja poses with Mr. Benedict Fontanet                                                   Amb. Baja with Mr. Moritz Leuenberger
                              (3rd from right), who represented his father
                                                Mr. Guy Fontanet.


                     
Amb. Baja with Mr. Salvioni and his family                         The awardees pose with the Philippine Embassy
                                                                                                  Officers and Staff          

 The 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 Switzerland.
“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 Baja. END

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