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Duterte appointee for ambassador to Brunei declines offer

President Rodrigo Duterte has to appoint a new ambassador to Brunei after his political nominee, James Lao, formally declined the nomination.

Lao did not appear on Tuesday at what should be his second appearance before the Commission on Appointments.

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Sen. Panfilo Lacson, chair of the CA committee on foreign affairs, read during the hearing a letter that Lao had addressed to President Duterte informing him he was declining his nomination as ambassador to Brunei because he has to attend to his wife who is sick with cancer.

“(Lao) has declined the nomination….So the President has to nominate or appoint a new ambassador-designate to Brunei,” Lacson told reporters after the CA committee hearing.

Lacson reminded that Lao was reappointed by the President after he was bypassed by the committee following his appearance for the first time last Oct.20.

Lao’s appointment was bypassed by the CA after he showed a poor grasp of his prospective assignment.

READ: ‘I don’t know’ was wrong answer

Meanwhile, four nominees of President Duterte, three of them political, passed the nod of the CA committee on foreign affairs. They are expected to be confirmed at the CA plenary on Wednesday.

The four nominees recommended by the CA committee for confirmation on Tuesday were Jose Santiago Sta. Romana as ambassador to China (with concurrent jurisdiction over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Mongoila); Jose Laurel V as ambassador to Japan; Uriel Norman Robles Garibay as ambassador to Kenya and Shirley Ho-Viracio as ambassador to Nigeria.

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TAGS: ambassador-designate, Brunei, Commission on Appointments, James Lao, Panfilo Lacson, Rodrigo Duterte
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