Palace: Cayetano has the experience to lead DFA well

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 17 2017 01:31 PM | Updated as of May 17 2017 01:42 PM

MANILA – Malacanang congratulated newly appointed Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano, who was confirmed by the Commission on Appointments panel Wednesday. 

“Secretary Cayetano’s experience and legal acumen shall enrich the leadership of the Department of Foreign Affairs and promote and enhance our international relations with the countries of the world,” Presidential Spokesperson Ernesto Abella said in a statement.

President Rodrigo Duterte last week said he had signed Cayetano's appointment paper, in time for the end of the one-year appointment ban on defeated candidates.

Cayetano was the vice-presidential running mate of Duterte. He placed third in the race.

According to Abella, Cayetano will bring with him to the DFA a wealth of experience in foreign relations, citing the former senator’s chairmanship of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations in the 17th Congress.

Abella noted, Cayetano authored and co-sponsored the bill extending the validity of the Philippine passport to ten years, and the resolutions concurring in the ratification/accession to the Articles of Agreement of the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), the Philippine-Japan Agreement on Social Security, and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.

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.