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Philippine president fails to name new China envoy
Publication Date : 23-10-2012
Despite the challenging relations between the Philippines and China, President Benigno Aquino has yet to fill the top diplomatic post in Beijing, even as its current Chargés d’Affaires is awaiting transfer to Burma (Myanmar).
The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Monday confirmed that the President had yet to name a new envoy nearly two months after he ordered the replacement of ailing Ambassador Sonia Brady.
“The President has yet to nominate an ambassador to China,” DFA spokesperson and Assistant Secretary Raul Hernandez.
Hernandez said Deputy Chief of Mission Alex Chua, who has been in charge of embassy affairs in Beijing in Brady’s absence, was appointed Ambassador to Burma but would remain at his post until his appointment is confirmed by the Commission on Appointments and accepted by Burma.
Chua will replace current Ambassador Hellen Barber-De la Vega who has been appointed consul general in Los Angeles, California.
But Hernandez said no posts would be left vacant despite the diplomatic movements.
“(The) transfers of our diplomats are always timed in consideration of the needs of our diplomatic and consular posts. In any case, the next ranking officer takes the position of the Charge to ensure continuity of services,” he said.
Appointed last year amid escalating tensions between the Philippines and China over conflicting claims on the West Philippine Sea, 71-year-old Brady suffered a stroke on August 22 and came home a month ago to continue her recovery.