MANILA, Philippines - President Aquino is set to appoint a new Philippine envoy to China after Ambassador Sonia Brady suffered a stroke in August at the height of tensions with China over the West Philippine Sea.
"We are in the process of deciding on the appointment of a new ambassador and the president will be making that decision by Monday," said Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario.
Brady suffered a stroke on August 22, barely three months after her appointment.
Her appointment came at the height of tensions with China over the West Philippine Sea. She returned to the Philippines a month after.
"Ambassador Brady is happily recovering. She no longer has paralysis but she still has speech impairment but she's taking speech therapy," said Del Rosario in an interview with Headstart on Thursday morning.
Del Rosario took the blame for the delay in the appointment of a new envoy especially now that China has released a new passport which marks disputed waters as Chinese territory.
"The buck stops with me. Some weeks ago I mentioned to the President that I would go and see Ambassador Brady and I would ask her if its OK with her if we begin looking for replacement. So I visited with her. I didn't have the heart to bring it up so I went back to the president and said 'Mr. President, that first call that I had when she came back to the Philippines, I didn't have the heart to speak to her about the possibility of a replacement. But we were able to do that finally," he explained.
Del Rosario said the Department of Foreign Affairs has nominated only career officials and not political appointees for the post.
“As far as the DFA is concerned, we have recommended only career officials,” he said.