MANILA— A retired military officer nominated to be the Philippines’ next ambassador to Brazil got the Commission on Appointments’ nod on Wednesday, succeeding the post that was vacated with controversy.
Retired Maj. Gen. Mario Chan, a member of the Philippine Military Academy Class of 1978 whose last position in active service was as commander of the Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division, takes over the position last held by now-dismissed diplomat Marichu Mauro.
Aside from being Ambassador to Brazil, Chan will also have jurisdiction over Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana and Suriname. The official said he previously served as the country’s defense and armed forces attaché in India with concurrent jurisdiction over Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka.
“I’d like to assure you… that in the performance of my duties, our national interest shall be protected, our foreign relations with these countries shall be enhanced, and the welfare of the overseas Filipinos will be promoted, and their rights and interests, protected,” Chan told lawmakers who form part of the CA.
Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin, Jr. said Chan “is more than a general; he protected our mission in Libya during the period of the heaviest militia attacks.”
“He deserves no less and will make us proud he is in Brazil. Congratulations, Mario; no one better,” Locsin said on Twitter.
The position for Head of Post of the Philippine Embassy in Brazil has been vacant since Oct. 31 last year, after the recall of Mauro who was caught maltreating her Filipino domestic helper inside her residence in the Latin American country.
President Rodrigo Duterte approved Mauro's dismissal early this year after the incident, caught on video, was investigated by the Department of Foreign Affairs.
Mauro, who said she regretted her behavior, said the case was mishandled and that she will appeal Duterte’s decision.
Aside from approving Chan’s nomination, the CA also confirmed the ad interim appointment of 18 other officers from the DFA.
FROM THE ARCHIVES