AFTER a year, the Philippines now has a regular ambassador to the United States.
The Palace was optimistic when it announced on Monday, July 10, that President Rodrigo Duterte reappointed Jose Manuel Romualdez as his special envoy to the U.S.
“We are confident that the reappointment of Mr. Romualdez will usher in better Philippines-U.S. relations and promote stronger cooperation between the two countries,” Palace spokesman Ernesto Abella said.
Romualdez, a newspaper columnist and media executive declined the reappointment as the envoy to Washington last year due to an emergency eye operation.
At present, Philippine embassy is supervised by Chargé d’Affaires Patrick Chuasoto.
The Philippines faced a rough relationship with the United States after then President Barack Obama denounced Duterte’s war on drugs.
In February, amidst the tension between the U.S. and Philippines, Duterte voiced out that he does “not feel like sending one [U.S. special envoy]. ”
Following the statement of Duterte, former permanent representative to the United Nations Lauro Baja urged the president to do otherwise since not sending an ambassador is “not good diplomatic practice.”
Under the leadership of incumbent U.S. President Donald Trump, however, the two countries are seen on a much friendlier note.
In May, Trump commended Duterte’s drug crackdown saying the Philippine president did an “unbelievable job on the drug problem.” Duterte thanked the U.S. president in return, further stating that “this is the scourge of my nation now and I have to do something to preserve the Filipino nation.”
Romualdez heads the Philippine offices of various multinational firms base in U.S. including FCB Manila and Weber Shandwick Philippines. He is also the president of the Manila Overseas Press Club and vice president of Manila Rotary Club. (AJPress)
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