The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) clarified reports that there are no takers for diplomatic posts amid the series of “off-the-cuff” statements of President Rodrigo Duterte cursing US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon that require massive diplomatic mending of fences with allies and neighbors.
DFA spokesman Charles Jose said the report is not true but admitted so far it was only Ambassador Marciano Paynor who accepted the offer to become Philippine ambassador to United States.
“Ambassador Paynor was recently appointed by President Duterte to head our post in Washington DC,” said Jose in a press briefing on Wednesday.
Former Senate President Edgardo Angara, on the other hand, confirmed that he was offered the post as ambassador to US but he declined.
“Yes, it (US post) was offered to me but I declined. Prior, I was offered to head our embassy in United Kingdom and then Spain,” said senator Angara in a chance interview.
Angara said he is open to “provide policy advice to the DFA” as a consultant but not to work as ambassador.
However, Jose said there are still no appointments of new ambassadors to key diplomatic posts such as United Kingdom and China. “We don’t have the names yet as of this time,” he said.
Earlier, Foreign Secretary Perfecto Yasay Jr. has submitted three names for possible appointment as Philippine ambassador to the US including Angara, well-known businessman Ricardo Delgado and Foreign Undersecretary for Policy Enrique Manalo.
The new Philippine ambassador to US will replace Ambassador Jose Cuisia who assisted in the filing of arbitration case against China to protest the massive military incursions in the disputed waters in the South China Sea.
But Yasay’s list did not include Paynor, currently the chief protocol officer of Duterte.
Paynor also led the hosting of the 2015 Asia pacific Economic Cooperation Summit as Apec Organizing Council Director General. RAM