THE powerful Commission on Appointments (CA) has confirmed, in less than five minutes, the appointment of Sen. Alan Peter Cayetano as the new secretary of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA).
Sen. Ping Lacson, chairman of the CA’s Committee on Foreign Affairs, sponsored Cayetano’s nomination. Lacson said that he “presided over probably the shortest public hearing to recommend to this honorable commission to give its consent to the nomination of Senator Alan Peter S. Cayetano as the Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs.”
“In the spirit of consistency, I will now deliver the shortest sponsorship speech. Thus, Mr. Chairman, distinguished colleagues, it is my distinct honor and privilege to move that the Commission give its consent to the nomination of Senator Alan Peter Cayetano as Secretary of Department of Foreign Affairs,” said Lacson.
Senators Ralph Recto, Migz Zubiri, and JV Ejercto seconded Cayetano’s appointment as DFA chief.
In a prepared speech before the CA, Cayetano said that “there is still so much to do” in order to effect more genuine changes for the country.
“I stand with you today in endorsing the demotion of our dear colleague from a senator of the Republic to its top diplomat. His 19 years in Congress–nine years in the Bigger House and 10 in the Better House–have prepared him for the grueling job ahead,” said Recto.
“I am saying that with authority because I believe that all the things he needed to learn in diplomacy, he learned in these two chambers. The current public image of the nominee is that of the president’s loyal defender, his trusty ally, and devoted confidant,” Recto added.
Cayetano vows to continue helping President Rodrigo Duterte in fulfilling his promise of promoting the welfare of the Filipino people, as well as the country’s national sovereignty and interest, territorial integrity, and national security.
Cayetano said that as DFA secretary he will push for “national interest, strengthening our bilateral and multilateral relations with other countries and organizations around the world, and of course the protection, welfare, and comfort of our Filipinos overseas, particularly our modern day heroes.”
Congratulations – US envoy
United States Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim yesterday congratulated Cayetano and expressed hope of working closely with the newly-confirmed foreign secretary.
“Warm congratulations to Secretary Cayetano. Look forward to working closely together,” Kim posted on his Twitter.
President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016 said he would offer the foreign affairs portfolio to Cayetano, his running mate, once the one-year appointment ban on defeated candidates expires.
Cayetano was handpicked by the President to head the DFA after the CA rejected the appointment of Perfecto Yasay Jr. to the Department due to questions about his citizenship.