Duterte likely to name officer-in-charge at foreign affairs department
President Rodrigo Duterte is likely to name an officer-in-charge at the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) after the Commission on Appointments rejected Perfecto Yasay Jr.'s ad interim appointment on Wednesday.
In an interview with reporters, Chief Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said Duterte may choose from "several undersecretaries" at the DFA.
He recalled Duterte mentioned in several occasions before that he would appoint Senator Alan Peter Cayetano as the DFA chief after the one year ban on losing candidates in the May elections last year expires.
Panelo said he was sad with the rejection of the CA on Yasay's appointment.
"I'm not happy to hear about that," Panelo said, noting Yasay is his friend and former classmate at the University of the Philippines College of Law.
"But that's the decision of the CA, we can't do anything about that," Panelo said.
The 15 members of the CA present during deliberations unanimously voted against Yasay's appointment due to his US citizenship.
Yasay could be charged for perjury for lying about his citizenship status.
Panelo said Yasay, also a lawyer, could very well defend himself if and when a case is filed against him before the court.
He also downplayed possible effect on Duterte's other appointees of Yasay's rejection by the CA.
The CA has been deliberating on the appointments of other Cabinet officials and other appointees. Also grilled today was Environment Secretary Gina Lopez who told one of the lawmakers that his brother’s mining company literally brought down a mountain.
Under the 1987 Constitution, the president shall nominate and, with the consent of the CA, appoint the heads of the executive departments, ambassadors, other public ministers and consuls, or officers of the armed forces from the rank of colonel or naval captain, and other officers whose appointments are vested in him in the Constitution. Celerina Monte/DMS