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Engineer heads list of confirmed ambassadors

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Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines—The Congressional Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the nomination of 16 ambassadors to various diplomatic posts abroad, including that of an engineer who somehow ended up representing the country’s interests in war-torn Iraq.

Sen. Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who broke her sick leave to preside over the bicameral commission’s foreign affairs committee hearing on the nomination of the foreign officers, was reading into the record the curriculum vitae of the diplomat nominees when she came across that of Edsel Barba.

“You’re an engineer. What are you doing in public service?” Santiago asked Barba.

Barba hesitated just a little before taking a stab at humor.

“To build bridges across nations,” he said, drawing laughter from the gallery that included his colleagues in the foreign service.

Not to be outdone, Santiago shot back: “I will cite you in contempt for using a cliché.”

The senator then went on to recommend Barba’s nomination to the CA plenary.

The other ambassadors whose nominations were endorsed by the Santiago committee and who were subsequently confirmed were: Rowena Sanchez, the country’s ambassador to Turkey; Ma. Theresa Lazaro, France and Monaco; Victoriano Lecaros, Czech Republic; Cecilia Rebong, Switzerland;

Jaime Victor Ledda, the Netherlands; Narciso Castañeda, Oman; Eduardo Martin Menez, Iran, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan; Vicente Vivencio Bandillo, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Maldives; Catalino Dilem, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Cuba;

Jose Cuisia, the United States, US Virgin Islands, Grenada, Puerto Rico, with additional jurisdiction over Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica and Haiti; Eleanor Jaucian, Hungary, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia, and additional jurisdiction over Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova; Enrique Manalo, the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland, with additional jurisdiction over the Republic of Ireland;

Bayani Mercado, Norway, Iceland and Denmark, with additional jurisdiction over Finland and Sweden; Patricia Paez, Poland, with additional jurisdiction over Latvia and Lithuania; and George Reyes, Mexico, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, with additional jurisdiction over Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and Cuba.


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  • Commentator

    Engineer’s are proven to be good leaders as shown in China. Even in the Philippines, Ramos who is also an engineer is a good leader.

    • Ragna_rok

      I doubt the leadership of Ramos. And he is much more of a soldier.
      I prefer use as a proof former president Ramon Magsaysay. I think very few people will disagree on that

    • GintongLahi

      Ramos is more of a soldier than engineer. As a soldier, he made almost all Generals (retired and active) multi-millionaires! As an engineer, he built a bridge/road to nowhere at his home province in Pangasinan.

  • AntiFakeOwner

    I hope an Architect can be an ambassador too someday.

    • koolkid_inthehouse

      why not if he’s the right person.
      If he can design bridges across nations.

  • disqus_EWrSdjV1nv

    tama sagot nung engineer, hopefully hindi ari nya at isang pinay dancer ang magdugtong.

  • Islaslolo

    Why limit your work and contribution to society on the profession you originally trained for or your original college degree?

    There were engineers who were recipient of the Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine. There were also mathematicians and at least one psychiatrist who were recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. And, of course, Jesus of Nazareth was a carpenter.

    Sometimes, you don’t need a college degree to make a contribution. For example: Thomas Edison, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, Larry Ellison, Mark Zuckerberg.

  • jpastor

    Engineers create, invent, construct and maybe sometimes destruct.

    For Lawayers… you know what it is!

  • jpastor

    The late Pres. Ramon Magsasay was an Engineer.

    Lawayers can be engineers too. Using their porks they also build bridges where there is no need of it but benefit most of out it.

  • staad

    haha edsel nice one. he was my classmate actually glad he is on top now.

  • GintongLahi

    Please ask the Honorable Senator Miriam Santiago, the name of a former President of the Philippines, also an engineer/soldier, who had stolen the Presidency from the popular Madam!



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