President Aquino grants Domingo Lee's request that his nomination as ambassador to China be withdrawn

April 19, 2012 10:17 pm 

MANILA, April 19 — President Benigno S. Aquino III has granted the request of Domingo Lee that his nomination as ambassador to the People's Republic of China (PROC) be withdrawn, considering the government's efforts to pursue a peaceful settlement of the Scarborough Shoal issue.

Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office Secretary Ramon Carandang said during the regular press briefing in Malacanang on Thursday that Lee had requested that his nomination be withdrawn by the Aquino administration after the Commission on Appointments (CA) deferred anew the confirmation of his appointment.

"President Aquino has agreed to Ambassador Lee’s wish, and therefore, Domingo Lee will no longer be our appointed ambassador to China," Carandang said.

Carandang said Lee made the decision to pave the way for the Chief Executive to find a new nominee who will be more acceptable to the Commission on Appointments.

"Mr. Lee is culturally and politically attuned to the developments in China; he has an extensive list of contacts in China and was eager to become our ambassador there. Unfortunately, the protracted confirmation process (which) Mr. Lee felt was not something that the country could afford at a time when we’re addressing serious issues with the People’s Republic of China. And so with the national interest in mind, Mr. Lee has requested that his nomination be withdrawn," Carandang said.

With the withdrawal of the nomination of Lee, Carandang said the search for a new nominee has begun. He said the Aquino administration is now awaiting for the list to be submitted by the Department of Foreign Affairs.

"We expect that a new nominee will be announced in the coming days," he said.

Lee explained in his letter to the President that he hopes his decision will ease the burden of the President.

"Mr. Lee felt that the situation would be better served if he stepped down, as he said in his letter. We think that his putting the interest of the country first in this way is commendable, and we thank him for this patriotic act," Carandang said. (PNA) scs/PCOO/rsm

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