On 04 December 2019, Philippine Ambassador Leah M. Basinang-Ruiz presented her credentials to Estonia President Kersti Kaljulaid at the Kadriorg Palace in Tallinn as non-resident Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines to the Republic of Estonia.
Ambassador Ruiz was accompanied by Deputy Chief of Mission and Consul General Mardomel Melo D. Melicor.
The ceremony commenced with the conveyance of Ambassador Ruiz from the Nordic Hotel Forum to the Palace in a government car escorted by the diplomatic police. She was greeted upon arrival by the Director of State Protocol Mr. Lauri Bambus and the commander of the Honor Guard and was accorded the traditional military honors.
Ambassador Ruiz was greeted by the President’s Aide de Camp and escorted to the Ceremonial Hall where she was warmly welcomed by the President’s Foreign Policy Adviser Ms. Kadri Lepp.
During the presentation ceremony, President Kaljulaid warmly welcomed Ambassador Ruiz and received her letter of credentials and the letter of recall of her predecessor. After the photo-taking, Ambassador Ruiz had a private audience with the President accompanied by DCM Melicor while the President was joined by Ms. Kadri Lepp and Mr. Mart Tarmak, Director of the Division for Asia, Africa, Australia and Latin America of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Ambassador Ruiz conveyed the warm greetings and sincere regards of President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and her own deep appreciation for her inclusion in the accreditation schedule before year end. She proceeded to inform President Kaljulaid of the Embassy’s plans to further intensify tourism, trade and investment ties between the two countries, promote more people-to-people contacts through parliamentary visits, official visits, as well as academic and cultural exchanges.
President Kaljulaid agreed that there is potential for the relationship to flourish in all areas where cooperation is possible. She expressed the hope that Estonia can offer its expertise in e-governance where it has comparative advantage and experience and look forward to seeing concrete collaborative projects by Estonian companies take shape in the Philippines.
Ambassador Ruiz is the 5th Philippine Ambassador to Poland. Her post has concurrent jurisdiction over Philippine relations with Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Ukraine. Previously, she was the first female Philippine Ambassador to Lebanon from 2011-2016 and also served at the Philippine Embassies in Wellington, Kuala Lumpur, Canberra, and Berlin. She served in various capacities in the Department of Foreign Affairs in Manila: Chief Coordinator, Office of the Secretary of Foreign Affairs; Assistant Secretary of the Department Legislative Liaison Unit; Executive Director, UN and International Organizations Office (UNIO); Director, UNIO Political and Security Division; Director, UNIO Human Rights Division; Director, ASEAN Affairs Office; Acting Director, Central Europe Division, Office of European Affairs. END
After the playing of the national anthems of the Philippines and Estonia, Ambassador Leah M. Basinang-Ruiz inspects the Guard of Honor accompanied by the Estonia Ministry of Foreign Affairs Chief of State Protocol and the troop commander.
Ambassador Ruiz presents her Letter of Credence to the President of Estonia H.E. Ms. Kersti Kaljulaid at Kadriorg Presidential Palace, Tallinn.
Official Photo of Philippine Ambassador Leah M. Basinang-Ruiz and Estonia President H.E. Kersti Kaljulaid after the presentation of credentials ceremony.
Ambassador Ruiz signs the Presidential Guest Book as President Kaljulaid looks on.