Manalo should be DFA chief, Del Rosario says

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 15 2017 01:12 AM

The acting Secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) deserves a permanent appointment to the post, according to a former head of the department.

Acting DFA Sec. Enrique Manalo found a supporter in his former boss, ex-DFA Sec. Albert del Rosario, who said Manalo deserves to be the Philippines' top diplomat.

"Having worked with the acting secretary for five years, it is my belief that it would be in the best interest of our country if he would be considered for permanent appointment," Del Rosario said. 

Del Rosario said Manalo is a professional career diplomat with 38 years of training and experience in foreign affairs. 

He added that Manalo was an undersecretary for policy and served as Philippine ambassador to the United Kingdom, Belgium, and as United Nations Permanent Representative in Geneva.

Manalo, according to Del Rosario, commands the respect not only of his peers at DFA but also of his counterparts in the global diplomatic community.

"Moreover, while we fully appreciate that our president is our chief architect of our foreign policy, a direct communication protocol between a career secretary of the DFA and the palace, at all times, would be key and extremely helpful," he said. 

"This would enable our acting secretary to provide the best possible advice on the merits and ramifications of all considered options related to foreign policy."

Manalo was appointed acting secretary after the Commission on Appointments rejected Perfecto Yasay's appointment as head of the foreign affairs department amid doubts over his citizenship.

Malacañang said Manalo will hold the position until the president appoints a new secretary.