MANILA - Foreign Affairs Secretary Perfecto Yasay, Jr. on Wednesday made light of the lawmakers' rejection of his appointment to the Duterte Cabinet.
"There is life after the rejection of my ad interim appointment. The bright side is that. Now I can have time for a haircut. I am sure that God has better plans for me," he said in a chance interview.
He added that he can now take a "good rest from a difficult and hectic job."
The Commission on Appointments, in a unanimous decision, rejected Yasay's appointment after he was grilled about flip-flopping statements regarding his US citizenship.
Yasay had apologized to lawmakers for “inadvertently” misleading them on questions over his citizenship.
He said he was granted US citizenship in November 1986 but this was “null and void” because he returned to Manila after a popular uprising that same year restored democracy in the Philippines.
Yasay nonetheless asserted that the court, not the CA, was the proper forum for resolving his citizenship issue.
CA foreign affairs committee chairman Panfilo Lacson however insisted, “It cannot be denied that the Commission on Appointments is also a proper forum to determine his qualification and fitness of secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs.”
He also reminded all Cabinet appointees to take seriously their oath during CA hearings.
The CA's rejection of Yasay's appointment means that Duterte would have to tap a new head of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
The DFA assured its operations will go smoothly until Duterte appoints a replacement for Yasay.
-- Report from Sherrie Ann Torres, ABS-CBN News