MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte has appointed his peace adviser Jesus Dureza and columnist Ramon Tulfo as special envoys to the European Union and China, respectively, appointment papers Malacañang released Thursday showed.
Dureza will serve as special envoy to the EU from July 1 to December 31, replacing the late former Senate President Edgardo Angara, who last held the post.
Tulfo’s appointment paper dated Oct. 23, on the other hand, shows he will serve as special envoy for public diplomacy to China for 6 months.
Duterte has several envoys to China, with whom the Philippines has been cultivating closer ties despite unresolved disputes over the South China Sea.
Tulfo, brother of resigned Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo, earlier announced his appointment as special envoy in an Oct. 6 column in the Philippine Daily Inquirer.
“The President said he wanted me to help him so I broached the idea of becoming a special envoy to China, which he approved,” he said in his piece.
“As special envoy to China, which pays only P1 per year, I could retain my public service program—Isumbong mo kay Tulfo—on dzRP, my bread and butter. Helping people is my passion.”
Tulfo said the President had urged him to run for office and even offered to spend for him, but he declined the offer, citing the cost of running a campaign.
Meanwhile, the President also appointed PTV senior reporter Raquel Rodriguez Tobias as undersecretary at the Presidential Communications Operations Office.
Duterte also appointed Myra Paz Abubakar as Tourism Assistant Secretary, replacing Frederick Alegre.