Aquino eyes new envoy to China
President Benigno Aquino III on Monday said that because of the standoff at Scarborough Shoal he was considering changing his nominee for ambassador to China after the Commission on Appointments (CA) continued to bypass Domingo Lee.
“I have been considering [it] and I expect a resolution soon on that matter perhaps earlier than previously planned… That’s a distinct possibility,” the President told reporters.
He said that he may be submitting a new nominee to the top diplomatic post in China following the retirement of Ambassador Francisco Benedicto over a year ago because “we have to listen to the wisdom also of the CA.”
“Has the situation changed that changes also the parameters of the ambassador we need in China?” Mr. Aquino said, noting that when he nominated Lee a year ago “the considerations were different.”
“Now, we have a Scarborough Shoal incident and there are other issues. Does he possess the necessary skills to be able to help us navigate this treacherous water at this point in time?” he said.
The nomination of Lee, honorary president of the Filipino-Chinese Chambers of Commerce and Industry, has been opposed by career diplomats in the Department of Foreign Affairs who said it was “demoralizing” to the staff.
Last month, the CA deferred the confirmation of Lee, who claimed to be a godson of President Aquino’s grandfather, after he failed to answer questions about the Spratly’s dispute. Christine O. Avendaño