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Malacañang sees nothing wrong in extension By Michaela P. del Callar 07/07/2010

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Malacañang sees nothing wrong in extension

By Michaela P. del Callar
Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo defended yesterday his directive to extend the terms of 21 political diplomats appointed by former President Arroyo, saying there is nothing irregular and illegal about it.
In a media interview, Romulo said the extension of terms of political envoys has been a common practice by previous presidents such as Corazon Aquino, Fidel Ramos and Joseph Estrada.
“During the time of transition from President Ramos to President Estrada, they were extended for six months from July 1 to Dec. 31. During Cory’s time, they were also extended,” Romulo was quoted as saying.
Under the Constitution, the President has the power to appoint or re-appoint officials and diplomats, but not extend their terms and, therefore, a Commission on Appointments confirmation is needed.
In a separate interview with the same network, former congressman Apolinario Lozada, who used to be a career diplomat, branded as “questionable” the extension of the envoys.
Lozada pointed out that political diplomats cease to represent the Philippines once the President who appointed them steps down. “They aren’t representatives of (President) Noynoy (Aquino). That’s illegal,” Lozada said.
He added that the envoys should have tendered their courtesy resignation on or before June 30 and turned over the operations of the embassies to their deputies.
Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr. said in a statement that he and Romulo have jointly recommended to Aquino to allow a three-month extension of the terms of the ambassadors, whose terms were deemed to have ended with that of Arroyo on June 30. If approved, the terms of 21 ambassadors should expire on Sept. 30.... MORE

SourceThe Daily Tribune

URL: http://www.tribuneonline.org/headlines/20100707hed6.html


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