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Appointments of new 17 career foreign service ambassadors is for national interest – Palace

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President Benigno S. Aquino III’s appointment of 17 new ambassadors who are all career diplomats is intended to serve the national interest well, a Palace spokesman said.

“The promise of President Aquino and the commitment of Secretary Albert del Rosario [Foreign Affairs] is really to use the career foreign service officials,” Presidential Spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press conference at the Palace on Tuesday.

“So, it is a clear indication the President intends to use the professional career foreign service officials in the foreign service,” he stressed.

Lacierda said that the career officials are the most competent in their field noting that the organization composed of career service officials welcomed the President’s recent appointments.

And while it’s the prerogative of the President to appoint those officials, Lacierda said, the Chief Executive wants the ratio provided by law observed in designating career and political appointees in the foreign services.

Republic Act 7157 or the "Philippine Foreign Service Act of 1991" provides for the President’s appointments of ambassadors and career foreign service officers.

Among President Aquino’s political appointees include former Manila Electric Co. president Manolo Lopez who was named ambassador to Japan, and former Central Bank Gov. Jose L. Cuisia Jr. as ambassador to the United States.

His latest appointees included Jose Eduardo Malaya III, spokesperson of the Department of Foreign Affairs who was designated ambassador to Malaysia.

Other appointees include Belen Anota (Australia), Victoria Bataclan (Belgium), Leslie Gatan (Canada), Wilfredo Maximo (Cuba), Cristina Ortega (France), Ma. Cleofe Natividad (Germany), Menardo Montealegre (Greece), Eleanor Jaucian (Hungary), Generoso Calonge (Israel), George Reyes (Mexico), Lourdes Morales (Netherlands), Virginia Benavidez (New Zealand), Bayani Mercado (Norway), Eduardo Manuel (Poland), Leslie Baja (Switzerland) and Enrique Manalo (United Kingdom). (PCOO/PIA9-BST)




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