Cayetano is next DFA Secretary – Duterte

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 10 2017 03:54 PM | Updated as of May 11 2017 01:22 AM

Philippines' Senator Alan Peter Cayetano speaks during the universal periodic review of the Philippines by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) on May 8, 2017 at the UN offices in Geneva. Fabrice Coffrini, AFP

MANILA – President Rodrigo Duterte on Wednesday confirmed that Senator Alan Peter Cayetano will become the next Foreign Affairs Secretary.

Duterte said he just signed Wednesday Cayetano’s appointment paper.

“Dito sa DFA, I remember I signed an appointment just before I left my room, I saw the name of Senator Cayetano,” Duterte told reporters before leaving for Cambodia.

Cayetano’s appointment was signed just as the one-year appointment ban after the elections ended.

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.

Accepting the foreign affairs portfolio means Cayetano would have to abandon his Senate seat four years into his term. Cayetano succeeded in his Senate re-election bid in 2013, which means his 6-year term as senator will end in 2019.

Duterte’s first foreign affairs secretary, Perfecto Yasay Jr., had to leave his post after his appointment was rejected by Congress due to questions about his citizenship.

Yasay was replaced by Enrique Manalo, a career diplomat, as acting secretary.