MANILA -- The Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the ad interim appointment of Teodoro “Teddy Boy” Locsin Jr. as Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) Secretary.
President Rodrigo Duterte appointed Locsin as the country's top diplomat in October, after former DFA secretary Alan Peter Cayetano resigned to run as Taguig representative.
Before being named DFA chief, Locsin served as the Philippines’ Permanent Representative to the United Nations.
Senator Panfilo Lacson, the chair of the CA’s committee on foreign affairs, endorsed his confirmation to the powerful body, saying Locsin possesses all the qualities to be the country’s top diplomat.
“He has distinguished himself with the credentials and qualifications befitting someone who should be at the helm of the Department of Foreign Affairs -- irrepressible, articulate, very independent-minded and extraordinarily prolific in writing,” he said in his sponsorship speech.
“In his short stint as ambassador, he has effectively made his mark within the high-brow milieu of the international community of nations,” Lacson said.
The seasoned lawmaker said Locsin will bring with him his own brand of diplomacy, “one that represents the true value of an independent foreign policy enshrined in our Constitution.”
Lacson’s glowing endorsement was seconded by his fellow colleagues in the CA.
Senator Grace Poe said Locsin is not just a good choice for the post, but “he is the right choice.”
“His appointment gives us assurance that the country’s top diplomat post will now be held by one of the most brilliant legal and political minds of this generation,” she said.
“I am supporting his nomination and voting for him because I know he will not allow our country to be bullied. I think he has it in him to stand to fight for what is right and what is just. I am confident that he will ensure that our sovereignty would be respected while still being open to collaboration with other nations,” Poe said.
Meanwhile, Senator Juan Miguel Zubiri described Locsin’s appointment to the DFA “as one of the best appointments made by President Duterte to date.”
“I admire Locsin for his brilliance, competence and dedication. I am confident that under his leadership, the department would be able to excellently fulfill its mandate of preserving and enhancing national security; promoting and attaining economic security; and protecting the rights and promoting the welfare and interest of Filipinos overseas,” Zubiri said.
Senator Sonny Angara, on the other hand, likened Locsin to the long tradition of great Filipino men who occupied the position at the DFA, among them Apolinario Mabini, Carlos P. Romulo, Salvador P. Laurel and former senator Blas Ople.
“He (Locsin) perfectly fits the mold of the brightest, most articulate, the most eloquent of Filipinos,” Angara said.
Locsin earned his Bachelor of Laws from the Ateneo de Manila University in 1977 and a Master of Laws degree from Harvard University in 1983.
He served as speechwriter and press secretary of former President Corazon Aquino before being elected as Makati representative for three consecutive terms from 2001 to 2010.
Locsin also served as speechwriter for two former presidents, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (2002 to 2006) and Joseph Ejercito Estrada (1998).
He was also the publisher of the Philippines Free Press, and the national broadsheets, the Daily Globe and Today.
Locsin was also nominated twice to be an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, which he both declined. (PNA)