Press Release
April 13, 2013

Koko hails efforts to preserve PH envoy's residence in Japan

Re-electionist Senator Aquilino "Koko" Pimentel III today commended efforts to preserve the Philippine Ambassador's official residence in Japan located at Fujimi, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo as a national historical handmark and as part of the national patrimony.

Pimentel pointed out that it was his father, then Sen. Aquilino "Nene" Pimentel Jr., who had filed Senate Resolution No. 1414 on October 14, 2009 directing the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations to conduct an investigation in aid of legislation into the planned demolition of the property.

The priceless property was bought by then President Jose P. Laurel with insufficient funds from the Philippine Government and had to pay the balance with money borrowed from his wife, Dona Paciencia Hidalgo Laurel. Government records do not indicate that she has been refunded for the amount she advanced.

As early as March 9, 1952, the Philippine Historical Committee, the precursor of the National Historical Commission, installed a historical marker at the same site.

This, however, did not fully insulate it from the commerce of man and consequently the property was subjected to several attempts to sell, lease or develop it through joint venture.

The Philippine Ambassadors Foundation Inc. (PAFI), under the leadership of its past President, Ambassador Jose Macario Laurel IV, later filed a petition with the Supreme Court for a temporary restraining order (TRO) against the Philippine Government for the planned disposal of the property.

In a final en banc resolution dated November 27, 2012, the High Tribunal dismissed the petition after the Solicitor General advised the NHCP that the government was no longer interested in the negotiated disposal of the Fujimi property.

Last April 2, during the PAFI Board meeting held at the Manila Polo Club, in recognition of his endeavors, Ambassador Jose Macario Laurel IV was honored with a certificate of appreciation presented by incumbent Chairman, Ambassador Lauro L. Baja, Jr. and its President, Ambassador Jose M. Zaldarriaga.

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