21 January 2013 – Philippine Ambassador to Portugal Philippe J. Lhuillier cited the long historical, cultural and religious ties shared by the Philippines and Portugal when he presented his credentials to President Anibal Cavaco Silva as Ambassador of the Republic of the Philippines to the Portuguese Republic at impressive ceremonies on January 14.
Ambassador Lhuillier and party were fetched in the morning of January 14 by a Portuguese Protocol motorcade for the ceremonies. He was accompanied by Deputy Head of Mission and Consul General Josefina Estrada and Third Secretary and Vice Consul Rogelio Villanueva Jr.
Following an age-old tradition, a mounted horse Honor Guard was bestowed on Ambassador Lhuillier at the Praça do Império in front of the historic Jerónimos Church and Monastery.
After receiving a military salute, the convoy carrying Ambassador Lhuillier and Embassy officials was escorted by the Mounted Guard of the Guarda Nacional Republicana (GNR) on the way to the Palácio de Belém, the official residence of the President of Portugal.
Upon arrival at the Palace courtyard, Ambassador Lhuillier was rendered another military salute where the Philippine and Portuguese national anthems were played.
At the precise moment, President Anibal Cavaco Silva formally received the Philippine Ambassador in the elegantly adorned Ambassadors Room of the Palace.
After presenting his Letter of Credence, the Ambassador was given a private audience with the President where he conveyed the warm greetings of President Benigno S. Aquino III and the deep appreciation of the Philippine Government and Filipino people for the close ties and the vibrant partnership existing between the Philippines and Portugal.
Ambassador Lhuillier expressed his desire for more active and productive engagements at all levels and areas that would bring greater collaboration and connectivity between the two countries.
President Cavaco Silva noted the importance of Asia in Portugal´s foreign and economic policy and emphasized the importance of the Philippines to Portugal. He acknowledged the history of friendship between the two countries and the contribution of overseas Filipinos to his own country and to the Philippine economy through their US$20 billion annual remittances.
He expressed optimism that with the new Ambassador, the close ties between Portugal and the Philippines would reach greater heights to benefit both countries especially in the areas of trade and tourism. He also hoped that more people-to-people contacts would lead to further exchanges and the enrichment of both cultures.
Aside from the Philippine Ambassador, the resident Ambassadors from Sweden, Bulgaria and China also presented their credentials on the same day.
President Aquino nominated Ambassador Lhuillier as the country's envoy to Portugal in February 2012, and the Commission on Appointments confirmed his nomination on 14 March 2012. He previously served as the Philippine Ambassador to Italy from 1999 to 2010.
Ambassador Lhuillier vows to display the same level of commitment and dedication in accomplishing the tasks given to him by President Benigno S. Aquino III.
Ambassador Lhuillier is married to Edna Diago who hails from Dumaguete and they are blessed with two sons and five daughters.
Source: Department of Foreign Affairs