ANGELES CITY -- Angeles University Foundation (AUF) will confer the Distinguished University Medal of Honor upon Timore-Leste’s foreign affairs minister Zacaria A. Da Costa on March 19, 2010.

The activity will be held at the AUF St. Cecilia’s Auditorium in Angeles City, said AUF president lawyer Joseph Emmanuel Angeles.

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Da Costa is being honored in recognition of his courage and deep sense of nationalism exemplified by his active involvement in the National Council of Timorese Resistance (CNRT) Political Committee that led to the liberation of Timor-Leste from foreign occupation in 1999.

He was also honored in commendation of his staunch advocacy of freedom and democracy when he served as Timor-Leste’s Permanent Representative to the European Union and International Organizations in Geneva from 1985 to 2000, and Vice President and Head of the International Relations Department of the Timorese Democratic Union from 1993-2000.

Da Costa is also widely acknowledged for his active participation in poverty alleviation efforts in his capacity as National Vice President of the Timor-Leste Red Cross, and through his heavy involvement in non-governmental organizations, cultural and sports associations and for being part of the Unesco National Commission of Timor-Leste.

He will be in the country to strengthen diplomatic relations between Timor-Leste and the Philippines, which testament his passion to promote peace and harmony in the Asian region.

AUF is currently home to 36 Timorese students pursuing degree programs in business, information technology, engineering and education.

The Distinguished University Medal of Honor is the highest form of recognition that AUF confers upon individuals who have displayed sterling leadership qualities, integrity and commitment to duty, in their service to the community and its disadvantaged sectors.

Past recipients of the medal include Canadian Ambassador Robert Collete in 2002; then Senator and now Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in 1993; Dr. Ang Thian Soo of ATS Singapore in 1993; Senator Manuel A. Roxas II in 2000; Dr. Daisaku Ikeda of Sokka Gakkai University, Japan in 1999; Dr. Young Seek Choue of Kyung Hee University, Korea in 2003; Japanese Ambassador Makoto Katsura in 2009, and a host of other deserving recipients from the diplomatic corps, government, business and education sectors.