MANILA – Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed a veteran diplomat, Undersecretary Enrique Manalo, as acting foreign affairs secretary.
Manalo is undersecretary for policy of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Manalo’s appointment yesterday came after the bicameral Commission of Appointments (CA) of Perfecto Yasay Jr. as foreign affairs secretary over citizenship issues.
The CA earlier rejected Yasay after the latter lied under oath that he never acquired US citizenship and held a US passport. He later admitted that he was once a US citizen and had an American passport.
Yasay was unperturbed by his rejection and said he will take a much-needed rest.
Presidential spokesman Ernesto Abella said Manalo will be country’s chief diplomat until such time Duterte will name Yasay’s replacement.
Duterte’s runningmate in last year’s elections, Senator Alan Peter Cayetano, is reportedly being eyed as the new foreign affairs secretary but Abella declined to comment.
Duterte had promised the foreign affairs post to Cayetano after the one-year ban on the appointment of losing candidates to positions in the government has expired in May.
Meanwhile, Abella described Manalo as highly qualified as an “excellent transition man,” as the latter had been “on top of many crucial issues” together with Yasay. GAC/Expat Media
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