Senator Osmeña backs replacement of PH envoy to China


Senator Sergio Osmeña III

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Sergio Osmeña III could not agree more when President Benigno Aquino III raised the possibility that he would replace the incumbent Philippine ambassador to China.

It was Osmeña who repeatedly questioned Ambassador Domingo Lee’s qualifications during his confirmation hearings at the powerful Commission on Appointments. The senator even urged the President to withdraw  Lee’s appointment.

“The President said it accurately. With the Scarborough situation, the country needs an ambassador with a special set of skills,” said Osmeña in a text message on Tuesday.

He said Lee should be replaced by a “trained and experienced career diplomat with previous exposure to treaty negotiations and West Philippine Sea issues.”

“At this juncture, it is in our national interest to have a trained and experienced diplomat assigned to Beijing to assist our President and Secretary del Rosario in responding to the critical situation in the West Philippine Sea,” Osmeña said in a separate text message to reporters.

Del Rosario is Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario.

Tension erupted between the Philippines and China in April when eight Chinese fishing boats were caught poaching in waters off the shoal, which the Philippines has claimed to be part of its territory by virtue of the international law of the sea.

An attempt by Philippine authorities to arrest the Chinese fishermen was blocked by China which sent two of its vessels and on claims that the shoal belonged to them historically.

While the fishing boats had left, two Chinese ships remained in the area and the Philippines has maintained a Coast Guard vessel.

The Philippines, through the Department of Foreign Affairs, filed a new diplomatic protest over allegations of harassment by China.

Get Inquirer updates while on the go, add us on these apps:

Inquirer Viber

Disclaimer: The comments uploaded on this site do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of management and owner of We reserve the right to exclude comments that we deem to be inconsistent with our editorial standards.

  • palipas_oras

    i understand that it must be difficult for the Philippine ambassador to china to be in this situation; however, we need to be tough and firm regarding this matter. we’ll support whatever is good for our country.

  • San Miguel

    Abusado na talaga tong mga intsik na to… Pag Filipino ang nahuhuli sa China dahil sa drugs…pinapa-execute nila. Pag dito naman sa Pinas, pinapatakas……..

    Sa sunod dapat cguro, i-shoot-out ang mga yan…..

    Manatakin mo, pinapalayas tayo sa sarili nating bakuran? Atin ang Spratly’s…

     Atin atin atin….

  • joboni96

    bakit intsik ang gawing ambassador????

    saan ang magiging loyalty nyan????

    DUH !!!

    ang ilagay mo dyan
    firm but diplomatic pro pilipino

    o kailangang may bayarang utang

  • Bad_Ong

    Yes, I can recall Sen. Osmeña’s opposition then at the CA. I do agree with him to prioritize qualified career diplomat rather than this post is treated like a gift or a “pabaon” to a political appointee –most often than not to ret. military or police officials!

    This reminds me of an ambassador, a political appointee of then GMA in one of the countries in Middle East. He was a ret. police official from Mindanao who, no offense meant, was no way you can say he’s a diplomat in his outlook and personality. Moreover if you hear him talk or deliver a speech in official gatherings! I better not describe it anymore.

    Well, you may say those are external attributes only, you’re right. But later as we know him through different issues and subjects related to his role as our representative or as our father in the foreign land his decisions & performance were as dull as his facet! He’s more often becomes part of the problem rather than solution to it. 

    In contrast with his mid 30’s Consul General, who was a career diplomat, meticulous in work habits & results oriented and really knowledgeable/skillful in his job in the embassy. To cite one, upon his discovery of one negligence of previous embassy officials, he made it sure that all the papers/documents processed in the embassy that are so important for OFWs or his families in later date back in the PH were all given immediately appropriate action. The backlog then was as late as 4 years! Also, prior to the arrival of political ambassador he used to be the troubleshooter of pinoy community issues and challenges. And he has done a lot of streamlining the processes & procedures in that embassy which are beneficial to all pinoys in that country at the end.

    However, upon the arrival of this political appointee Ambassador the career Consul Gen was treated by him as if his personal assistant in & out of the embassy, even outside of official working hours. He was short of treating him like a butler! Worse the ConGen has to even wake up late at night and drive to hotel or cafe where Amba is dining or having a drinking session! And guess what? The career diplomat has to pullout money from his own pocket for this political appointee’s bill! Would it be because of their age gap? I doubt it.

    As expected, in less than a year the supposed deserving and great help to OFWs career diplomat resigned and gone to US. In my last contact he was employed in a private company. What a chance wasted for one real public servant and service to the Filipino people!

    Do I need to tell what happened then in that embassy afterwards? I think your guess is exactly right! Btw, I know them both personally.

    Now, may be Ambassador Lee could be of the same mold of that Amba I know and I experience with. Having fun with his virtual retirement life at the expense of taxpayers’ fund!

To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.

Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:

c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City,Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


editors' picks




latest videos