DFA's stance on naming of new RP envoy to Germany bared

March 28, 2010 11:42 pm 

MANILA, March 28 — Press Secretary Crispulo Icban Jr. today releases the official statements from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on the issue of new appointment to the Philippine ambassadorial post in Germany:

Ambassador to Germany Delia Domingo Albert retired in 2005 and has since been annually extended as a political appointee recallable at any time, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said today in the wake of reports asking why she has now been recalled and a new ambassador, Al Yuchenco, named in her place.

Assistant Secretary Eduardo Malaya, spokesman of the DFA, said Albert ceased to be a career ambassador when she retired in 2005. Her term was immediately extended at that time and this has been done annually, but as a political appointee, she serves at the pleasure of the President.

"Political ambassadors are recallable any time and we in the career service know that," Malaya said.

The DFA issued the clarification in the wake of reports quoting an unnamed DFA official as saying that the recall of a "career ambassador" had sent shock waves within the DFA.

Executive Secretary Leandro Mendoza said President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has never removed career officials unless they were promoted. She has never violated the Civil Service Law, he said.

He said that he had duly informed Albert of the appointment of Yuchengco but she was to remain at her post pending the completion of the two requirements of such ambassadorial appointments – the concurrence of the host government, in this case, Germany, and confirmation by the Commission on Appointments.

With respect to the ratio between career and political appointees in the DFA, Malaya said that the DFA last October issued a statement that the Arroyo administration had appointed more career ambassadors and consuls general (72.83 percent) than political ones. This compares with 70 percent for the Estrada administration and 67 percent for the Ramos administration.

Former Civil Service Commission Chairman Patricia Sto. Tomas said that in President Arroyo's more recent appointments in the government service, the percentage of career vs political appointments had been 93.7 percent.

DFA also said that four of the most recent vacancies in the foreign service, namely, Brussels, Pretoria, Islamabad, and Hanoi, were filled with career diplomats, whose appointments were approved by the Commission on Appointments on Oct. 14, 2009.' (PNA) RMA/OPS/rsm

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