CA confirms 16 ambassadors, including engineer to diplomatic post in Iraq
MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Appointments confirmed, on Wednesday, the nomination of 16 ambassadors to various diplomatic posts abroad, including that of an engineer who has been tapped to represent the country’s interests in war-torn Iraq.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, who broke her sick leave to preside over the CA’s committee on foreign affairs hearing on the nomination of the foreign officers, was reading into the record the curriculum vitae of the diplomats when she got to that of Edsel Barba.
“You’re an engineer. What are you doing in public service?” the chairperson of the CA foreign affairs panel said during the committee hearings before the CA’s plenary proceedings.
Barba hesitated a bit but eventually allowed himself to a stab at humor. “To build bridges across nations,” Barba said while smiling sheepishly and drawing laughter from the gallery that included his colleagues in the foreign service.
Not to be outdone, Santiago, a former trial court lawyer, said, “I will cite you in contempt for using a cliché.”
Santiago then went on to the committee’s move to recommend Barba’s nomination to the CA plenary.
Aside from Barba being posted in Iraq, the other ambassadors whose nominations were endorsed by Santiago’s committee to the CA plenary and who were subsequently confirmed by the bicameral commission 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 Castaneda, 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 US, US Virgin Islands, Granada, Puerto Rico and 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, Dominican Republic and Cuba.
Cuisia, Jaucian, Manalo, Mercado, Paez and Reyes were already confirmed by the CA before but their additional jurisdictions necessitated another round of confirmation proceedings before the bicameral commission.
Subscribe to our global nation newsletter
Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.