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AMBASSADOR MARIO L. DE LEON, JR.


Exclusive to the Filipino Reporter

More than 130 leaders of various Filipino-American community organizations in Northeast USA banded together and wrote an appeal letter to Department of Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert F. del Rosario last week.

The letter, according to Atty. Victor Sison, Esq., was a request to extend the services by at least one year of Ambassador and New York Consul General Mario L. de Leon, Jr. until the latter reaches his mandatory retirement age of 65.

The five-year term of service by de Leon is set to expire in July 2016.

The Filipino Reporter was able to obtain copy of the letter sent to the DFA Secretary in Manila.

Below is the letter:

January 5, 2016
Albert F. del Rosario
Secretary of Foreign Affairs
Republic of the Philippines
Department of Foreign Affairs
2330 Roxas Boulevard, Pasay City, Philippines

Re: Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr.

The Honorable Albert F. del Rosario:

As emigree Filipinos and Filipino-Americans of the 1960s, and onwards, residing in the New York Metropolis and the outlying tri-state area, we have always looked at the Philippine Consulate as the face of our Philippine Republic.

That face is crystallized in the ambassadors, the consuls and the people that populate it.

Their policies, attitudes and actions define and set our mutual relationships.

A time there was, when we were simply beholden to the  Consulate as an institution transcendent and lofty, imposing and aloof, far from the “maddening crowd,” to be approached only when and as needed.

That was then.

In the recent past, consuls and ambassadors though still noble and magnificent, have taken on our plebeian bearings and identified themselves with our aspirations and our dreams.

They walked our walk and tried to be part of the warp and woof of our lives.

They are one of us, making us proud to be walking with giants.

Consul General Mario Lopez de Leon, Jr. is a perfect fit of the above.

He bridged the chasm between the Consulate’s transcendence and immanence by his ever-solicitous presence in virtually all Fil-American events.

If he was elevated to the coveted and prestigious 4th degree Knight Grand Officer of Rizal, (KGOR), he did it on his own merits, working side by side with fellow Knights of Rizal in worthwhile endeavors and not on the dignity of his position as a Consul General.

He made the Consulate and us proud with his accomplishments, so numerous to enumerate.

For that reason, two N.Y. organizations made him the “Man of the Year” in December 2015.

It has come to our knowledge that pursuant to the DFA rules and procedures Consul General Mario de Leon will be recalled sometime in 2016.

He will be 64 years old by the time of his recall.

He needs only a year for his mandatory retirement.

We understand that we have neither the right nor standing to intrude into the DFA rules and procedures.

Further, it is a well-known dictum that no one is indispensable.

Nevertheless, we hereby make our plea.

Consul General Mario de Leon’s absence, we believe, will  be deeply felt.

A vacuum and a void will be created.

His leadership and savoir-faire in matters consular and in diplomacy will be missed, until his successor eventually puts up a similar mask and face in the Consulate.

Thus our earnest request: Is it too much to request for the extension of his recall up to and until his retirement age?

Vox populi, vox Dei

Truly yours,

(SIGNED)

 

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