BANGKOK - Senator Alan Peter Cayetano on Wednesday downplayed reports that he will replace Foreign Affairs Secretary Enrique Manalo as DFA chief as soon as the one-year ban on appointments for losing candidates lapses.
"I am in full support, I am aware of the love and respect of the whole DFA for the very professional Secretary Manalo. Let's see. As the President said, hindi kami nag-uusap. Maraming ibang position. There might be things needed in the Senate," Cayetano said in a press conference where Manalo was also present.
Cayetano, President Rodrigo Duterte's running-mate during the May 2016 polls, said he only exercises "mere oversight" in the country's foreign policies as he chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs.
"He (Manalo) totally administers and leads the DFA without any interference from this representation," the senator said.
He added he and Manalo serve at the pleasure of the President and will "both follow" Duterte's instructions.
After winning the presidential race last year, Duterte said he would offer the foreign affairs portfolio to Cayetano, his running-mate, after the one-year appointment ban on defeated candidates lapses. Duterte repeated his promise last December.
The President changed his tune last week, saying Cayetano may be "needed more in the Senate."