MANILA- Former Foreign Affairs Secretary Roberto Romulo criticized Perfecto Yasay Jr.’s short stint in the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), saying the latter “demoralized” career personnel.
Speaking to ANC on Friday, Romulo said he feels Yasay “mistreated” career service officials and favored political appointees more.
“From an internal standpoint, let me just state that it is regrettable that he did not uplift and support the career service, which is really the backbone of any foreign service organization,” Romulo said.
“He demoralized them…He never paid attention to the career service and to be quite frank, I felt he mistreated them. And there are specific instances when he would favor the political more than the career,” he added.
Lawmakers on Wednesday rejected the ad interim appointment of Yasay after he appeared to have lied to the Commission on Appointments (CA) about his US citizenship.
Yasay, however, denied lying to the CA. In jest, he said he welcomed the rejection because he now has more time for his family and to get a haircut.
The DFA under Yasay had a problematic morale, according to Romulo, saying officials of the department were getting mixed signals from Yasay’s pronouncements.
He said a foreign affairs chief should have years of experience in dealing with diplomacy since there are now more superpowers in the world today.
Romulo, however, lauded the appointment of Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Enrique Manalo as acting head of the department, even going as far saying that Manalo should be considered for the post permanently next time.
“He is really a seasoned diplomat and the career service is delighted that he is taking over as acting foreign secretary,” he said.