Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr. has dealt Presidential Adviser on Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Abdullah Mama-o with expletive and threat over the issue of using the title “consuls” to those who will be assigned to man foreign postings under the proposed Department of Overseas Filipinos (DOFIL).
Locsin was reacting to what transpired during the Senate committee hearing on Tuesday concerning the creation of DOFIL where Mama-o was invited as one of the resource persons.
In the said hearing, Mama-o reportedly suggested the commissioning of “consuls” to beef up DOFIL’s representations abroad.
“One thing sure, DOFW will have attachés but never consuls. So Mamao, don’t you dare browbeat my DFA people on that issue. Who the f___ do you think you are? Be careful. I will not debase the consular status,” Locsin said in a tweet.
In May 2018, Mama-o was also appointed by President Duterte as the country’s special envoy to Kuwait at the height of the diplomatic row between the two countries over reports of abuses committed against OFWs. Mama-o is a law graduate at San Beda College, the President’s alma mater.
In a separate tweet, Locsin tried to drag Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles into the fray by telling the latter to restraint Mama-o. Nograles was also in the hearing representing Malacañang.
“Karlo Nograles, next time rein him in unless you want to join him,” the country’s top diplomat and former journalist said.
Locsin was absent in the Senate hearing and was represented by Undersecretary for Migrant Workers’ Affairs Sarah Arriola.
Senators tried to get Arriola’s view on the use of the title “consul” for DOFIL’s would-be appointees abroad but the latter reportedly begged off, saying she is a “political appointee” in the DFA.
Arriola was appointed at the DFA during the time of then Secretary Allan Peter Cayetano.