CA gives nod to two ambassadors

(MANILA TIMES) THE Commission on Appointments (CA) on Wednesday confirmed the nomination and ad interim appointment of two ambassadors and one senior Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) official.

The CA confirmed the nomination of Mersole Mellejor as ambassador to Nigeria, with concurrent jurisdiction over Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and the Togolese Republic.

The bicameral panel also approved the nomination of Philippe Lhuillier as ambassador to Spain, with concurrent jurisdiction over the Principality of Andorra. Also approved was the ad interim appointment of Raquel Solano as Chief of Mission, Class 2, who currently serves as deputy consul general in the Philippine Consulate in San Francisco, California, United States.

Sen. Jose “Jinggoy” Estrada, chairman of the CA’s foreign affairs subcommittee, said the panel “found all of our appointees to be fit and qualified.”

Sen. Ana Theresia “Risa” Hontiveros stressed the need to rally the support of the international community to uphold the Philippines’ sovereign rights over the West Philippine Sea.

The senator recognized China’s influence over African countries, with China being their biggest bilateral lender.

She lauded Mellejor for his “modest” yet “confident” approach to making the Philippines’ position known to African authorities.

“We should really continue to build international consensus around us, or behind us, and confidently make those wise steps forward to really secure our national interest,” Hontiveros said.