Press Release
October 4, 2006


The bicameral Commission on Appointments confirmed the appointments of some 31 diplomats ranging from ambassadors to foreign service officers, on recommendation of the Foreign Affairs Committee under chair Sen. Miriam Defensor Santiago.

Santiago told media that the nomination of Imelda Lopez as Ambassador to Italy will be held in abeyance, because President Arroyo has extended the term of duty of incumbent ambassador Philippe Lhuillier.

There is no vacancy, so there can be no nomination for the post in Rome, Santiago said.

The Senator added that what is at present vacant is the post of ambassador to Argentina.

Lhuillier reportedly already took his oath of office as ambassador to Argentina, but Santiago said the oath of office has been superseded by the extension of Lhuilliers term.

Santiago also told the Senate media that her foreign affairs committee will next consider the nomination of former Supreme Court Chief Justice Hilario Davide, Jr., as Philippine Ambassador to the United Nations in New York.

Santiago said she did not expect smooth sailing for the Davide hearing, because of objections from Sen. Jinggoy Estrada and from at least two sworn oppositors.

The committee has the power to reject the oppositions filed, but Sen. Jinggoy Estrada has the power to veto the confirmation under Section 20 of the Rules of the Commission on Appointments, she said.

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