PNoy appoints new envoy to China

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Dec 05 2012 11:27 AM | Updated as of Dec 06 2012 10:44 AM

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATE) - President Aquino has named Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Undersecretary Erlinda Basilio as the next Philippine ambassador to China.

Speaking to reporters, Aquino said Basilio’s appointment "sends the signal of how important our relations are with China and how serious we are in trying to achieve an understanding with them" given her stature as senior undersecretary and her "wealth of experience."

Aquino said Basilio has been recommended by DFA Secretary Albert del Rosario for the post.

Aquino is just waiting for Basilio’s appointment papers from the Office of the Executive Secretary before submitting them to the Commission on Appointments for confirmation.

Basilio replaces Ambassador Sonia Brady who was recalled to Manila after falling ill. Basilio previously served as Assistant Secretary for Asia and Pacific Affairs, and ambassador to Sweden.

Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said Basilio, a veteran diplomat, will play a major role in the government's goal of improving ties with China.

''We are endeavoring to significantly enhance our bilateral relations with China, and we are counting on our Ambassador nominee, Usec. Erlinda basilio, to play a major role in achieving our defined objectives. Our nominee is a seasoned senior diplomat who brings with her experience and expertise in dealing with all current matters pertaining to our relations with China. She moreover enjoys the confidence of the President," he said. -- with a report from Henry Omaga Diaz, ABS-CBN News