DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 24 April) — President Rodrigo Duterte has named a retired Taosug Ambassador as Ambassador to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, with concurrent jurisdiction over the state of Palestine.
The 72-year old Akmad Atlah Sakkam of Indanan and Patikul in Sulu, is the third Moro and second Tausug lawyer appointed Ambassador by Duterte.
Sakkam, whose appointment was signed on April 18 but released to the media on April 23, had served as Ambassador for 15 years in Iraq, Bahrain and Oman. spanning four administrations — from Corazon Aquino to Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
His last government post was under the administration of Benigno Simeon Aquino III, as a member of the then 15-member Bangsamoro Transition Commission from 2014 to 2016.
Sakkam was Ambassador to Iraq from 1986 to 1992, to Bahrain from 1994 to 1999, and to the Sultanate of Oman from 1999 to 2003.
Before joining the Department of Foreign Affairs in 1986, Sakkam worked at the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) from 1975.
He was legal consultant of the Office of the DOLE Secretary in 1975; was med-arbiter from 1975-1976, Chief of the Foreign Labor Operations Division from 1976 to 1977 and from 1977 to 1982 was assigned in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, as Labor Attache to the Middle East and Africa.
Sakkam spent six years in the private sector, as junior associate in the Deogracias Eufemio Law Offices from 1972 to 1974 and as President and Managing Director of the Multiline Resources Corporation from 1982 to 1986.
As Ambassador, Sakkam received a Special Presidential Award of Merit from President Corazon Aquino “for outstanding service to the country for the safe evacuation of thousands of Filipino workers from Kuwait and Iraq” during the first Gulf War of 1991.
In June 2012, he received a Distinguished Service Award from the Department of Foreign Affairs in recognition of “the highest degree of professionalism and substantial contribution to the advancement of the national interests abroad in the areas of bilateral, regional and multilateral relations.”
In April last year, Duterte named as Ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Yemen. Adnan Alonto, a Moro lawyer from Lanao del Sur who lived for two decades in the United States and renounced his US citizenship in 2016.
In January this year, Duterte named Tausug lawyer Ombra Jainal of Siasi, Sulu, as Ambassador to the Czech Republic.
Like Duterte, Alonto and Jainal finished Law at San Beda, Alonto in 1985, Jainal in 1975.
Sakkam finished law in 1971 at the Manuel L. Quezon University where he also took up AB Political Science and History. He is an alumnus of Sulu High School and Indanan Central Elementary School. (Carolyn O. Arguillas / MindaNews)