Law of the Sea specialist is new ConGen to S.F.

ConGen Henry Bensurto, Jr. is a lawyer and a career diplomat.

The Filipino community in San Francisco has a new Consul General. His name is Henry S. Bensurto, Jr., a career diplomat and a member of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP).

A statement from the Philippine Consulate says Bensurto and is one of the Philippines’ leading experts on maritime security and the West Philippine Sea issue.

“He was part of the Philippine team that filed the arbitration case against China on the West Philippine Sea, which is now pending before an Arbitral Tribunal in the Hague,” says the statement.

Immediately prior to his posting in San Francisco, Consul General Bensurto served as the Assistant Secretary of the West Philippine Sea Center (WPSC) in the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Secretary-General of the Commission on Maritime and Ocean Affairs Secretariat (CMOAS), a cabinet-level inter-agency coordinating body on the Law of the Sea and other maritime issues.

Bensurto has been recognized several times for his ground-breaking work on Philippine maritime security and its territorial disputes within the West Philippine Sea. He received the Presidential Order of Lakandula (rank of Grand Officer), one of the highest honors given by the Philippine Government, for his foreign policy contributions toward the Philippines’ approach to the West Philippine Sea disputes. Likewise, he received the Presidential Award of Gawad Mabini (rank of Commander) for his leadership and contributions to the passage of the Philippine Archipelagic Baselines Law in 2009.

Bensurto is an alumnus of both the University of the Philippines, (Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science in 1985) and San Beda College of Law, where he graduated with a degree in law in 1990. He graduated from Oxford University in 1996, under the Chevening Scholarship, with a Distinction in Public International Law and Merit in International Trade. He also has a Diploma on the Law of the Sea at the Rhodes Academy of Oceans Law and Policy in Greece.

Bensurto is married to Ann Mariza Sanchez-Bensurto, and they have one son, Henry Matthew.

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