MANILA - Several senators have lauded the appointment of Teddy Boy Locsin Jr. as the next foreign affairs chief and expressed confidence at the diplomat's capabilities.
The Philippines' permanent representative to the United Nations, Locsin will replace Alan Peter Cayetano, who will seek a House seat in next year's polls.
Senate President Vicente Sotto III called Locsin's selection to head the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as "one of the best appointment[s] ever."
"I am confident that he can ably represent the interests of the Filipino people before the international community," he said in a statement.
"One of the best appointment[s] ever. Excellent choice. The PH cannot be bullied with him as DFA chief," he added, in reference to the outspoken official.
Locsin, known to be vocal on social media, said Friday he has accepted the appointment.
Senator Sherwin Gatchalian also hailed Locsin's appointment saying the former journalist's character is fit for his new position.
"Anyone with a Twitter account knows that Ambassador Locsin does not mince words. He speaks his mind passionately and tells it like it is, even if it’s something that many people might not want to hear," Gatchalian said in a statement.
"His character is well suited for the messy arena of international relations, where diplomatic double-talk often gets in the way of achieving real progress among the international community of nations," he added.
Senators JV Ejercito and Ralph Recto, meanwhile, expressed confidence in Locsin's skills.
Recto said the "best and the brightest" rule was followed with the envoy's appointment.
"If diplomacy is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that he looks forward to the trip, Teddy Boy has this skill in abundance. Rarely can you find a man who can quote the classics but can curse like a stevedore. He will use his formidable knowledge in world affairs and in law in advancing our country’s interests and in protecting our countrymen abroad," Recto said in a statement.
"[The] DFA will certainly benefit from his long experience in public service and his brilliance," Ejercito said.
Senator Loren Legarda, who chairs the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations, said she would work with Locsin in advancing the Philippines' diplomatic ties with other countries.
"I am certain he will not waver in protecting our people and our nation's interests," she said in a statement.
"He is fit for the job, honed by his long years of experience in public service, both as a journalist and a public official," she added.
Prior to becoming an ambassador, Locsin was an ABS-CBN journalist, lawmaker, and newspaper publisher.
He served as Makati representative from 2001 to 2010 and was also speechwriter and press secretary of the late President Corazon Aquino after the 1986 People Power Revolution.